Tracing the dramatic lives, through 500 years, of the old and distinguished family from which he is descended, Victor Perera recreates the history not only of his own people, but of an entire culture. The story begins in 15th-century Spain, where the Inquisition offered Sephardic Jews a choice of conversion, exile or death. It shows a flourishing ...
Tracing the dramatic lives, through 500 years, of the old and distinguished family from which he is descended, Victor Perera recreates the history not only of his own people, but of an entire culture. The story begins in 15th-century Spain, where the Inquisition offered Sephardic Jews a choice of conversion, exile or death. It shows a flourishing tradition interrupted by cruel events; a story of persecution, escape and renewal, stretching across Europe to the Holy Land and Central America. The lives shown are emblematic of the Sephardic diaspora: Ana Pereira, a teenage girl who under torture incriminated 15 of her close relations; the fabulously wealthy merchant Abraham Pereira; the beautiful Maria Nunes, abducted to Shakespeare's England, where she rejected the marriage proposals of a duke; Emile and Isaac Pereire, who founded the French railway system. Finally, it is Victor Perera's search for the grandfather he never knew and his quest to uncover his own identity and liberate himself from a generations-old family curse, which come to dominate the book.
Good. Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority!
Publishers Weekly, 1995-03-06 In this vibrant, engaging chronicle, Perera, who teaches journalism at UC Berkeley, traces his family tree from the 14th century onward. Born in Guatemala to Sephardic Jews who emigrated from Jerusalem in the 1920s, Perera explains that his father came to the New World under a patriarchal curse. The author's great-grandfather, Yitzhak Moshe, rabbi of Jerusalem, exhorted his sons and grandchildren never to leave the Holy Land, threatening ``excommunication'' to those who disobeyed. Traveling to Alexandria, Egypt, Perera visits the grave of his grandfather, Aharon Heim Perera, a Torah scribe from Palestine who flouted Moshe's injunction by traveling abroad. In recovering his Jewish identity, the author liberates himself from the family curse. This beautifully written odyssey passes through Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition; France, where brothers Emile and Isaac Perera, rivals of the Rothschilds in wealth and influence, built railways; and the Sephardic community of Salonika, Greece, from which Perera's forebears escaped before the Nazi slaughter. He also interviews members of Israel's Sephardic underclass, who tell of discrimination by Israeli Ashkenazic Jews of European descent. Photos. (Apr.)
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.