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Guardian of Dawn

Richard Zimler

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Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A sweeping tale of persecution, devotion and vengeance in colonial India. By living just outside colonial territory, the Zarco family manages to stick firmly to its Portuguese-Jewish roots. But the family is torn apart when first the father and then the son are imprisoned by the Inquisition.


In late 16th-century Goa, despite the Catholic Inquision, the Zarco family holds firm to its Portuguese-Jewish roots. Ti and his sister enjoy their childhood with secret dips into the heady chaos of the Hindu festivals of their beloved cook, Nupi. But as they reach adulthood, the family is torn apart when the father and then the son are imprisoned by the Inquisition. Only someone close to the family could have denounced them. Intent on revenge, Ti is forced finally to face the truth of the betrayal and reassess his most fundamental beliefs.


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Richard Zimler

Richard Zimler was born in Manhasset, New York. After gaining degrees in comparative religion from Duke University and in journalism from Stanford University, he worked as a journalist. In 1990, he moved to Porto, Portugal, where he has taught journalism for the last twelve years.

He has published four novels since 1996: Unholy Ghosts, The Angelic Darkness, The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon -- named 1998 Book of the Year by three British critics and a bestseller in eleven countries -- and Hunting Midnight, also a bestseller.

Zimler has won many prizes for his writing, and has lectured on Portuguese-Jewish culture all over the world. When not writing, he enjoys gardening at his weekend house in the north of Portugal.

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