Richard Zimler - Author

About the Author

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.

Featured books by Richard Zimler

Other books by Richard Zimler

The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

Author: Richard Zimler Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/06/2014

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.

Angelic Darkness

Angelic Darkness

Author: Richard Zimler Format: eBook Release Date: 15/08/2013

San Francisco, 1986 - a city where Dionysian liberation is beginning to pall beneath the first shadows of a strange new darkness. Bill Ticino's fruitless and numbing marriage finally breaks up. Plagued by insomnia and spiritually lost, Bill finds a lodger as the solution to his problems: a handsome, charismatic Portuguese man named Peter, whose pet bird is a hoopoe named Maria. Bill finds himself drawn into a world of kabbalistic storytelling, charms and ritual. Peter ignites Bill's repressed obsessions by telling him emotionally charged tales of hidden meaning.One night they venture together into the Tenderloin district, a dead-end world of prostitutes and transvestites. Bill begins to see that his new tenant has plans that will force him down a perilous sexual and spiritual oath, with the power to both redeem and destroy.

Seventh Gate

Seventh Gate

Author: Richard Zimler Format: eBook Release Date: 15/08/2013

By the author of the critically acclaimed international hits The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon and The Warsaw Anagrams, this novel proves Richard Zimler's mastery of the "e;riveting literary murder mystery"e; (Independent on Sunday).Berlin, 1932. Sophie is a smart and sexually precocious fourteen-year-old coming of age during Hitler's rise to power. Forced to lead a double life when her father and boyfriend become Nazi collaborators, she reserves her dreams of becoming an actress for her beloved elderly neighbor, Isaac Zarco, and his friends, most of whom are Jews working against the government in a secret group called the Ring. When a member is sent to Dachau, she realizes there must be a Nazi traitor in the group-but who?Through successive mysteries, reversals, surprises, and a race against time, The Seventh Gate builds to a shattering end. In its chilling but sensuous evocation of the time and place, Richard Zimler's novel is at once a love story and a tragedy-and a tale of ferocious heroism.

Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

Author: Richard Zimler Format: eBook Release Date: 01/07/2013

The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon, an international bestseller, is an extraordinary novel that transports listeners into the universe of Jewish Kabbalah during the Lisbon massacre of April 1506. Just a few years earlier, Jews living in Portugal were dragged to the baptismal font and forced to convert to Christianity. Many of these "e;New Christians"e; persevered in their Jewish prayers and rituals in secret and at great risk; the hidden, arcane practices of the kabbalists, a mystical sect of Jews, continued as well. One such secret Jew was Berekiah Zarco, an intelligent young manuscript illuminator. Inflamed by love and revenge, he searches, in the crucible of the raging pogrom, for the killer of his beloved uncle Abraham, a renowned kabbalist and manuscript illuminator, discovered murdered in a hidden synagogue along with a young girl in dishabille. 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 by turns light and obscure the way to the truth he seeks.A marvelous story, a challenging mystery, and a telling tale of the evils of intolerance, The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon both compels and entertains.

Warsaw Anagrams

Warsaw Anagrams

Author: Richard Zimler Format: eBook Release Date: 21/07/2011

Evil will flourish even when good men fight it. In this gripping and deeply moving mystery thriller set in the Warsaw ghetto of 1941, an exhausted and elderly psychiatrist named Erik Cohen makes his way home to the Jewish ghetto after being interned in a Nazi labor camp. Yet only one visionary man-Heniek Corben-can see him and hear him. Heniek soon realizes that Cohen has become an ibbur-a spirit. But how and why has he taken this form? Cohen recounts his disturbing and moving story to Heniek-a story of how a beloved great nephew vanished and later turned up as a mutilated corpse. Cohen's investigation into this terrible death uncovers other ghetto children that have met similar fates and that the killer might be a Jew. As the story progresses, Heniek begins to believe that Cohen is not the secular Jew he claims to be but may, in fact, be a student of the mystical Kabbalah. When Heniek traces his suspicions, he comes to an astonishing conclusion, one that has consequences for his own identity and life-and perhaps for the reader's as well.

The Children's Hours Stories of Childhood

The Children's Hours Stories of Childhood

Author: Richard Zimler Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/08/2008

Publication of this book is timed to coincide with the implementation of recommendations of a groundbreaking United Nations study on Violence Against Children. To support Save the Children and raise awareness for its fight to end violence against children, bestselling authors from around the world have banded together to create a bold and moving anthology of stories about childhood. Participants include such acclaimed and award-winning authors as Ali Smith ( The Accidental ), David Almond ( Skellig ), Melvin Burgess ( Junk ), Meg Rosoff ( How I Live Now ) and Richard Zimler ( The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon ).In The Children's Hours , these and fifteen other renowned authors explore and celebrate childhood; their tales touching on abuse and rejection, loneliness and love, the joys of friendship and discovery, and the first confused inklings of adolescent love. A major launch is planned for London in order to bring attention to this timely initiative. All writers' royalties will be donated to Save the Children for its work to end violence against young people.

Hunting Midnight

Hunting Midnight

Author: Richard Zimler Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/03/2004

In Zimler's dazzling tale, John Zarco Stewart is an impish child of bold inquisitiveness, the unwitting inheritor of a faith shrouded in 300 years of secrecy. Dark and bitter events put an end to his innocence and almost destroy him, but he is healed by the arrival in his household of a mysterious young man from Africa. Midnight is a freed slave brought to Porto by John's seafaring father, and he becomes John's greatest friend, ultimately determining the course of his life. But as John grows to manhood Midnight is lost to him, Napoleon's armies invade Portugal, and John's fragile peace is shattered as he uncovers truths and lies hidden by those he most loved and trusted. At last he leaves for America, to hunt for hope in a land shackled by unforgivable sin. This magnificent new literary epic, a moving love story crossed with sweeping historical novel, is a worthy successor to Zimler's The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon, published in 1998 to huge success, and so far selling over 60,000 copies with reviews to match. Pre-publication, Hunting Midnight has already attracted much attention and looks set to do even better.

The Warsaw Anagrams

The Warsaw Anagrams

Author: Richard Zimler Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/11/2002

Autumn 1940. The Nazis seal 400,000 Jews inside a small area of the Polish capital, creating an urban island cut off from the outside world. Erik Cohen, an elderly psychiatrist, is forced to move into a tiny apartment with his niece and his beloved nine-year-old nephew, Adam.One bitterly cold winter's day, Adam goes missing. The next morning, his body is discovered in the barbed wire surrounding the ghetto. The boy's leg has been cut off, and a tiny piece of string has been left in his mouth.Soon, another body turns up - this time a girl's, and one of her hands has been taken. Evidence begins to point to a Jewish traitor luring children to their death...In this profoundly moving and darkly atmospheric historical thriller, the reader is taken into the most forbidden corners of Nazi-occupied Warsaw - as well as into the most heroic places of the heart.Praise for Richard Zimler:'A riveting literary murder mystery, [The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon] is also a harrowing picture of the persecution of 16th-century Jews and, in passing, an atmospheric introduction to the hermetic Jewish tradition of the Kabbalah.' Independent on Sunday 'Zimler [is] a present-day scholar and writer of remarkable erudition and compelling imagination, an American Umberto Eco.' Spectator'Zimler has this spark of genius, which critics can't explain but readers recognise, and which every novelist desires but few achieve.' Independent 'Zimler is an honest, powerful writer.' Guardian

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