Author Mansour Ajami was born during World War II in Saghbine, a poverty-stricken Lebanese village that had remained virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages. His autobiography, The Book of Generations: A Reunion with Memory, traces his adaptation to the culture and thought of twenty-first-century America.
With a humorous, offbeat perspective, Ajami presents the inevitable culture clashes that shaped his intellectual evolution. He recounts ancient folklore and medieval church practices, the discovery of luscious and accomplished Western women, and the ways of poor fathers and obdurate donkeys. Whether he is beguiling American university students with seemingly preposterous snake stories or dealing with the tragic loss of his first child, Ajami's humor and emotion translate universally. The Book of Generations ends with a soliloquy on a possible future in which he sees himself alone in the world, musing on the necessity of inventing spaceships, computer chips, and potato chips, and on the avoidance of long johns and obtuse grammar.
The magically realistic and easy-to-understand stories in The Book of Generations: A Reunion with Memory, from peasant cures for illness to the hustle and bustle of modern society, provide Ajami's perception of the human condition.