Leonardo Padura; Anna Kushner Heretics

ISBN 13: 9781908524782

Heretics

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9781908524782: Heretics
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In 1939, the Saint Louis sails from Hamburg into Havana's port with hundreds of Jewish refugees seeking asylum from the Nazi regime. From the docks, nine-year-old Daniel Kaminsky watches as the passengers, including his parents, become embroiled in a fiasco of Cuban corruption. But the Kaminskys have a treasure that they hope will save them: a Rembrandt portrait of Christ. Yet six days later the vessel is forced to leave the harbour with the family, bound for the horrors of Europe. The Kaminskys, along with their priceless heirloom, disappear.

Nearly seven decades later, the Rembrandt reappears in an auction house in London, prompting Daniel's son to travel to Cuba to track down the story of the lost masterpiece. He hires Mario Conde, and together they navigate a web of deception and violence in the morally complex city of Havana.

In Heretics, Leonardo Padura takes us from the tenements and beaches of Cuba to Rembrandt's gloomy studio in seventeenth-century Amsterdam, telling the story of people forced to choose between the tenets of their faith and the realities of the world, between their personal desires and the demands of their times. A grand detective story and a moving historical drama, Padura's novel is as compelling, mysterious, and enduring as the painting at its centre.

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Review:

"A beautifully teeming novel of revelation and family history, alive with the cadences of Cuba and the sorrows and hopes of the WWII Jewish diaspora. This book is also a lavish detective story, unravelling across continents and cultures and decades as it probes the meaning of a single, beguiling masterpiece--a small Rembrandt portrait of Christ that refuses to be silenced in the folds of art history." --Dominic Smith, author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

"The perfect blend of historical, social, and espionage fiction. An adventure that without a respite. The best novel of the eight that Padura has written with Conde as protagonist . . . Enjoy it." --Juan Carlos Galindo, El Pais

"Cuban mysterian Padura returns with another installment in his Mario Conde detective series, this one following a Rembrandt portrait over centuries and continents . . . Padura capably works here in Perez-Reverte territory, where art and ideas meet mayhem. Smart and satisfying." --Kirkus Reviews

"Padura deftly handles complex issues of Jewish identity in Cuba, as well as Cuban identity on the island before and after Batista and in Miami; ultimately, he encompasses the whole richness of modern Cuban and Jewish history. This is a major novel and a testament to Padura's stature as a writer." --Mark Levine, Booklist (starred review)

"The intensive, richly detailed narrative is at once a portrait of Cuban upbringing, a meditation on anti-Semitism, and an intriguing account of the painting. . . Highly recommended." --Library Journal (starred review)

-- --Library Journal (starred review)



-Like Viet Thanh Nguyen's novel The Sympathizer . . . Padura's Heretics spans and defies literary categories. All of which would only be of ho-hum technical interest if Heretics weren't also an arresting novel about fanaticism, anti-Semitism and the long fall-out of a decades-old moment of political cowardice . . . Padura's ingenious novel is something of a heretic itself: by turns playful, dark, and moving, it traces the great psychic costs--and rewards--that come from nestling so deeply into dogma that nothing is permitted to trigger doubt. This was the great theme of classic works of the fascist and communist 20th century like, of course, Orwell's 1984. We were supposed to have awoken from those nightmares. But, as Padura reminds us, we haven't." --Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air

-The pages of Cuban author Leonardo Padura's ample feast of a historical novel (translated from the Spanish, con gusto, by Anna Kushner) are populated by 'Heretics' of many sorts--religious, artistic, political and social . . . Mr. Padura displays a painter's eye worthy of his expansive canvas, which includes Dutch burghers in 1647, Jewish refugees escaping Hitler, Cuban baseball fans in the 1950s and disaffected Havana youth of the mid-2000s. This rich prose-panorama proves to be as much a spiritual meditation and a paean to individual freedom as it is a murder mystery and a treasure hunt." -- --Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal

"I've read about a quarter of it so far, and am dazzled by its ambition and heart. In my view, it could be read either as a new instalment in the series or as a standalone in its own right." -- Mrs Peabody Investigates

"The Cuban Leonardo Padura's reputation is ironclad, and if you need reminding why, pick up Heretics - although those seeking a linear crime scenario may be nonplussed by the book's jostling between the modern day and 17th-century Amsterdam. Bibulous sleuth Mario Conde is now a secondhand book dealer, but becomes entangled in a mystery involving a Rembrandt portrait and his grandparents, who fled from Nazi Germany but were not allowed into Cuba. It s as much an astringent picture of Padura's own society as a crime fiction outing." --Guardian

"Leonardo Padura's rum-soaked, chain-smoking detective Mario Conde has always been an uncompromising advocate of personal liberty. The book's sheer cussed refusal to conform, and Conde's crabby charms, chime so well with its central concern that you can't help finding the whole thing oddly appealing." -- --The Times

About the Author:

Leonardo Padura was born in Havana in 1955 and lives there with his wife Lucia. A novelist, journalist, and critic, he is the author of several novels, one collection of essays, and a volume of short stories. His Havana series crime novels featuring the detective Mario Conde, published in English by Bitter Lemon Press, have been translated into many languages and have won literary prizes around the world. To quote Padura: "I bury myself in Cuba deeply so that I can express what Cuba is, and I have not left Cuba because I am a Cuban writer and I can't be anything else."

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780374168858: Heretics (Mario Conde Investigates)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0374168857 ISBN 13: 9780374168858
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017
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9780374537395: Heretics (Mario Conde Investigates)

Farrar..., 2018
Softcover

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