‘Harvard Square’ by André Aciman

1“But I couldn’t forget my days and evenings at Café Algiers where I’d come because that small underground café at the time was the only place this side of the Atlantic I could almost call home. The smell of Turkish coffee, the French songs they played here, the verbal fireballs of a Tunisian nicknamed Monsieur Kalashnikov and the chatter of the men and women who’d gather around when he presided, down to the clammy, wooden dampness of my tiny square table next to which hung a makeshift poster of a deserted beach in a coastal town called Tipaza, its turquoise sea forever limpid and beckoning, everything in this small coffee shop reminded me of a Middle East I thought I had lost and put behind me and suddenly realized I wasn’t ready to let go of. At least not just yet. Not for Harvard, not for America, not for anyone, not even for the children I wished one day to be a father to. I was not like everyone else in Cambridge, I was not one of them, was not in the system, had never been. This wasn’t really my home, might never be. These weren’t my people, were never going to be. This wasn’t my life, wasn’t my birthplace, wasn’t even me, couldn’t be me. This was the summer of 1977.” – André Aciman, Harvard Square 

Taxi Driver. ‘Harvard Square,’ by André Aciman

By CLANCY MARTIN

May 3, 2013. The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/books/review/harvard-square-by-andre-aciman.html?nl=books&emc=edit_bk_20130503&_r=0&pagewanted=all

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