Until the middle of the 20th Century, almost all historical texts were written from the point of view of the people who won the wars and elections. This is still largely the case in many countries, where those who have been defeated have had their suffering minimized or completely excluded from serious discussion.
When growing up in America Richard Zimler saw how only, no more than a few hours was spent in high school exploring the culture, traditions and history of the Native Americans. Our American history book did not devote a single page to their genocide.
One of his objectives in researching and writing historical novels is to try to right this wrong: to explore the lives – and struggles – of those who have been systemically shunned, minimized and silenced. He regards this as an essential – and highly subversive – project and is proud of the influence that his books about Jewish-Portuguese history have had all over the world but especially in Portugal, where he has lived for the last 30 years.