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Cuban writer Leonardo Padura presented Saturday at Havana his novel Herejes, a work "against prejudices" that integrates historical episodes of the Jewish diaspora, the painter Rembrandt’s life and in which rescues the character detective Mario Conde.

"It's a novel that I intend to make them think, but is a reflection that must start from a necessity, as a proposed communication," said the writer in the book presentation at the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC).

More than a year after its launch in Spain and other European countries, Heretics left Saturday for sale in Cuba with an initial print run of 1,000 copies, which were sold almost entirely.

The novel tells a historical episode of 1939, the abandonment of 937 Jews who left Germany in the SS Saint Louis, fleeing the Nazis and in order to be received in Cuba, which never allowed them to disembark and they had to return to Germany.

This historical fact is intertwined with other stories that pass by the Dutch painter Rembrandt, the "forcible conversion to the Cuban" of a Polish Jew and the emergence of urban tribe "emos" in Havana, in which rescues his celebrity detective Mario Conde, who becomes "older, more nostalgic and wounded".

"It is a polyphonic novel, with different narrative voices, different historical moments and characters that do not know what the protagonist because all are" summarized the writer.

During the presentation, the narrator, critic and editor Cuban Marilyn Bobes defined the novel as "the most ambitious work" Padura, a 'timeless story of human beings in search of free will ".

Padura (Havana, 1955), as a writer, journalist and critic, received in 2012 the National Prize for Literature in Cuba and has achieved international recognition with the series of detective novels featuring the detective Mario Conde, translated into numerous languages and deserving of awards like the Café Gijón 1995, Hammett 1997, 1998 and 2005, the 2000 Islands and the Brigade 21.

He is also author of the novel of my life and the man who loved dogs, the latter a reconstruction of the lives of Leon Trotsky and Ramon Mercader, cementing his reputation as an author on the international scene.

Source: Diario de Cuba

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