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The Cross and the Pear Tree: A Sephardic Journey

The Cross and the Pear Tree: A Sephardic Journey

From Library Journal

Guatemalan writer Perera (Unfinished Conquest: The Guatemalan Tragedy, LJ 9/1/93) chronicles the history of his Sephardic family from his parents' generation back to the family's Spanish origins. He discovers many eminent ancestors. The French branch of the family boasted Jacob Pereira, the 18th-century creator of a manual alphabet and techniques of articulation for training deaf mutes; and the brothers Isaac and Emile Pereire, who introduced the railways in France and, despite great wealth, supported workers' rights and denounced child labor. In tracing his family's history, Perera discovers Christian branches of the family and believes that there may even be Muslim branches. Despite minor errors in his chapter on the Sepharad in Spain, Perera's family history is a worthy addition to the growing literature on the Sephardim. It complements Howard Sachar's Farewell Espa?a: The World of Sephardim Remembered (LJ 11/15/94). Recommended for academic libraries and public libraries with strong reader interest in this area.?Robert Andrews, Duluth P.L., Minn.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Perera, who was born in Guatemala City of Sephardic Jews from Jerusalem, explores the history of his family, choosing those members whose lives illuminate important facets of the Sephardic experience. Perera traces his family back to the fourteenth century in Toledo, where the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492. Some fled to Portugal, where the Inquisition was introduced in 1547. He probes one branch of the family that left Portugal for France in 1703, finding safe haven in Bordeaux. Perera discusses his great-great-grandfather, who wrote two books of commentaries in the 1870s, rooted in his faith in the Kabbala's prophecies. We meet his mother, a woman who spoke seven languages but often lapsed into the earthy Ladino idiom of her ancestors. Perera re-creates the life of his grandfather in an effort to reclaim his own Jewish identity. This chronicle of Sephardic culture and history is a vivid and absorbing account by a first-rate writer. George Cohen

Review

The multistranded narrative interweaves the authors archival research with the scholarship of classic historians of Sephardic Jewry. -- New York Times Book Review
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

15 photographs in text.

About the Author

Victor Perera (1934-2003) was novelist and writer whose books include Rites: A Guatemalan Boyhood (1985) and The Last Lords of Palenque (California, 1986). The Cross and the Pear Tree was his best-known book.

From The Washington Post

[Perera] movingly, even brilliantly, recaptures the vibrance and tenacity of one of historys still under-acknowledged civilizations.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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