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The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

Richard Zimler

4 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)


A gripping literary mystery in the tradition of The Name of the Rose, set among a secret Jewish community living in Lisbon in the sixteenth century. 'I loved The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon.' John Le Carre

The year is 1506, and the streets of Lisbon are seething with fear and suspicion when Abraham Zarco is found dead, a naked girl at his side. Abraham was a renowned kabbalist, a practitioner of the arcane mysteries of the Jewish tradition at a time when the Jews of Portugal were forced to convert to Christianity. Berekiah, a talented young manuscript illuminator, investigates his uncle's murder, and discovers in the kabbalah clues that lead him into the labyrinth of secrets in which the Jews sought to hide from their persecutors.

A challenging mystery and a powerful indictment of the evils of intolerance, The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon is an extraordinary and spellbinding historical thriller.

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Praise for The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

  • An international bestseller and a riveting literary murder mystery - Independent on Sunday

  • Gripping, richly written and overflowing with historic detail - New York Times

  • Historical accuracy, the structures of a mystery, the pace of a thriller . . . a fascinating novel with a spellbinding subject matter - Elle

  • Vividly rendered . . . drenched in atmosphere and period detail - Wall Street Journal

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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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