Yona Beh Sabagha's son is Ariel Sabar, a journalist and now author of what could best be described as a biography of his father that is also part history, linguistics primer and memoir. "My Father's Paradise" is a personal undertaking for a son who admits he never understood his unassuming, penny-pinching immigrant father, a man who spent three decades obsessively cataloging the words of his moribund mother tongue. Sabar once looked at his father with shame, scornful of the alien who still bore scars on his back from childhood bloodlettings. This book, he writes, is a chance to make amends.
Friday, October 10, 2008
MY FATHER'S PARADISE, by Ariel Sabar about his Aramaic-Professor father Yona, is reviewed briefly in the International Herald Tribune. Excerpt: