American Author’s Popular History Novel Recently Published in Portugal

The History and Literature of Slavey, Diaspora, & Inquisition Paul D. Cohn’s novel, "São Tomé," was recently published in Portuguese by Medialivros/DIFEL, Lisbon, and is now in bookstores in Portugal and Brazil under the title "Rapto em Lisboa."
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Dec. 18, 2010 - PRLog -- "São Tomé-- Journey to the Abyss-- Portugal's Stolen Children"


Because of the controversial subject matter, Medialivros fast-tracked the novel from their usual production schedule of 18 months to 7. The subject—the kidnapping of Jewish children in the late 15th Century and their shipment to the West-African island of São Tomé to work the Crown sugar plantations—is still an active topic of disagreement among the Portuguese even after 500 years, and is popularly referred to as “Os Raptos” (The Kidnappings).

Cohn’s novel tells the story of young Marcel Saulo and his sister Leah abducted with other children from their synagogue in Lisbon and shipped by caravel 4,000 miles to the West-African island. This is a historical work that chronicles one man’s courageous struggle against religious and racial persecution, torture, and disease, and explores the abyss of Inquisition, Portuguese and Spanish world expansion, and the holocaust of African slavery fueled by the calamitous growth of sugar commerce.

The novel is set against the history of the kidnappings that began in 1485 when the Portuguese Crown and Catholic Church first began to abduct Jewish children, forcibly convert the young conscripts, and ship them to São Tomé Island off the African equator to work the government plantations. The collision of slavery, sugar agriculture, and discovery of The Americas transformed this island colony into the nidus of the wholesale black slave trade that infected Western commerce and Africa for the next 350 years. This is a little-known chapter of the Diaspora that also reveals the Medieval Church’s complicity in the business of slavery.

Medialivros/DIFEL is the largest Portuguese language publisher of literary works, and Cohn now finds himself in the high-altitude company of well-known contemporary writers such as Isabel Allende, Umberto Eco, and Amin Maalouf.

"São Tomé... inordinately readable, an extraordinary accomplishment. Straightforward and narratively complex, riveting as story-telling... a journey of courage, bravery and faith that commands respect, enlightens the reader, and pleads for a wide readership." --Brady Harp, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & Powells Books Review
“São Tomé: A riveting work of historical fiction. ...powerful, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and joyous. Impossible to put down.”  —Michele Jones, The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh, December 18, 2008.

“São Tomé (Rapto em Lisboa) ...the ideal historical novel... thorough, persuasive, vivid and uncompromising... A classic of the era.” —Paulo Nogueira, EXPRESS (Lisbon), October 15, 2008.

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We are the publisher of “Sao Tome-- Journey to the Abyss-- Portugal’s Stolen Children,” by Paul D. Cohn. Visit our product page on Amazon or in Portugal ("Rapto em Lisboa") at the following links:
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Tags:Literature, Jewish History, Slavery, Africa, Diaspora, Inquisition, Ebook, Amazon, Kindle
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Page Updated Last on: Jan 17, 2011
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