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The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon * SIGNED * - FIRST EDITION -: Zimler, Richard The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon * SIGNED * - FIRST EDITION -: Zimler, Richard

The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon * SIGNED * - FIRST EDITION -

Zimler, Richard

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ISBN 10: 0879518340 / ISBN 13: 9780879518349
Published by Overlook Books, 1998
Condition: As New Hardcover
From Margins13 Books (Atlanta, GA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

STATED FIRST Edition AND FIRST Printing, with publishers full number line in place. *SIGNED* by author directly onto title page, dated in year of publication. A FLAWLESS copy in same condition UNclipped dust jacket. Map end-papers. Mylar protected jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 003356

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon * SIGNED * - ...

Publisher: Overlook Books

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon is a novel that transports the reader into the mystical universe of kabbalah during the Lisbon massacre of April 1506. Just a few years earlier, Jews living in Portugal were dragged to the baptism font and forced to convert to Christianity. Many of these "New Christians," in secret and at great risk, persevered in their rituals, and the hidden, arcane practices of the kabbalists continued as well.
One such secret Jew was Berekiah Zarco, a young manuscript illuminator. Inflamed by love and revenge, he searches for the killer of his beloved uncle Abraham, a renowned kabbalist discovered murdered in a hidden synagogue, along with a young girl in deshabille. Risking his life in streets seething with mayhem, Berekiah tracks down answers among Christians, New Christians, Jews, and the fellow kabbalists of his uncle, whose secret language and codes at turns light and obscure the way to the truth he seeks.


Richard Zimler's The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon is not a particularly religious novel, but it uses religion to great dramatic effect. Although its story takes place during the 16th- century slaughter of Jews in Portugal, and its main characters are Jewish mystics, Zimler is less interested in describing their spiritual lives than in plotting a fantastic murder mystery. The book purports to be a modern translation of a medieval manuscript telling the story of the murder of a great kabbalist in Lisbon named Abraham. Occasionally, the story invokes a bit of kabbalist wisdom that is every bit as luminous as the ancient texts that inspired this novel: "Books are created from holy letters," one character says. "Just as angels are, according to some. Viewed from this perspective--through a window of Kabbalah, if you like--an angel is nothing but a book given heavenly form." Such moments are too rare for the book to be very perceptive about the tradition to which its title alludes, but nevertheless, it's an absorbing and genuinely suspenseful story. -- Michael Joseph Gross

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