Luize Valente

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Luize Valente is a filmmaker and journalist, with more than two decades of experience in television, currently working at Globo News, Globo TV cable channel. Luize has always been fascinated by History, with a special interest in themes related to Judaism, what led her to Israel in 1998. With photographer Elaine Eiger, she published the book ISRAEL ROUTES & ROOTS, in 1999. Again with Elaine Eiger, she produced and directed the documentaries Paths of Memory: The Trajectory of the Jews in Portugal (2002) and The Star Hidden in the Backlands (2005).
The documentaries were exhibited in national and international film festivals. THE SECRET OF THE SHRINE was her first novel, published to acclaim in Holland and a real sales success in Brazil. Recently, she released a volume of short stories from Record entitled When Voyeurs Needed Binoculars (Do tempo em que voyeur precisava de binóculos).
The two opening chapters of this novel were chosen to represent the Portuguese contribution in the anthology “18 Jewish Stories – translated from 18 languages”, edited by Nora Gold, from the journal Jewish, together with pieces byes by Isaac Babel, Elie Wiesel, Lili Berger, and Norman Manea. In Brazil, SONATA IN AUSCHWITZ sold over 30.000 books.

A baby born in the Auschwitz-Birkenau barracks in October 1944. A Sonata composed by a young German officer, on the same date, also in Auschwitz. Two stories that cross paths and complete each other. Decades later, Amalia, Portuguese daughter of a German father, starts to lift the veil that covers the Nazi past of the family from a musical score revealed by an unknown great-grandmother, signed by her grandfather Friedrich and entitled Für Haya (for Haya).
The question of whether her grandfather, considered deceased before the end of the Second World War, could be alive in Rio de Janeiro, leads her to cross the ocean and meet a Holocaust-surviving Jewish couple, Adele, and Enoch. The rise of Nazism in Berlin, the saga of the Hungarian Jews of Transylvania, the mysteries that occurred in the extermination camp in Poland and the post-war era in a house full of secrets in a Potsdam lake offer the paths that Amalia will travel to piece the puzzle together.

Publication/Status: By Record (Brazil) in 2017, by Saída de Emergência (Portugal) in 2018 and by Les Escales (France) in November 2019. Sold to Tre60 (Italy) and to Ombra GVG (Albania).
Octogenarian Olívia Braga de Almeida, the owner of one of the largest supermarket chains in Brazil, watches the sunrise on the first day of the new millennium from the balcony of her apartment in the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. Her granddaughter, Tita, comes in and surprises her with an old picture in which Olívia, young and pregnant, is seen beside an unknown man and a young boy in a square in Antwerp, Belgium. In another picture from about the same time, Olívia is seen by her husband, Antonio, and her son – who had just passed away – Luiz Felipe. The truth becomes known: “Olívia” is, in fact, Clarice, the woman in the picture from Antwerp, pregnant with Helena (Tita’s mother), mother of young Bernardo and wife to German Jew Theodor Zuskinder, the father of her children. The true Olívia – the one in the other photo – was her twin sister, with whom she exchanged
photo – was her twin sister, with whom she exchanged identities sixty years earlier on a Spanish border while fleeing in the middle of World War II. After this revelation, Tita takes her grandmother on a trip through time, during which Clarice narrates the saga of her family and the twist of fate that caused them to switch places. Then they take a real trip to Portugal and Antwerp where she finally rescues her long-lost identity. A story of mistaken identities, loyalties betrayed or kept to the end, and unrequited love, through the horrors of the II World War and Nazism up to nowadays.

Publication/Status: Published by Record (Brazil) in May 2015 and by Saída de Emergência (Portugal) in November 2015. Film and TV rights acquired by Paula Fiúza at Canal Laranja and filmmaker Breno Silveira, director of Fox series One Against All.
A fascinating mix of adventure, mystery and love story, this novel reveals Brazilian’s Jewish roots through the saga of a “New Christian” family that crosses three centuries. (Jewish families made to convert to Christianity by the Portuguese Inquisition in Brazil were called “New Christians”.) In order to discover the origin of her ancestors, the protagonist, a young doctor named Ionah, starts a journey in the backlands of the North-East, passes by São Paulo and ends in New York, where converted Jews from Brazil founded the first North American Jewish community and synagogue.
The journey is marked by revelations and encounters. When Ionah discovers a secret kept for almost ten generations inside a shrine, her life is forever changed.

Publication/Status: Published by Record (Brazil), in 2012, and by Nieuw Amsterdam (Holland), in July 2013. Film and TV rights acquired by Paula Fiúza at Canal Laranja and filmmaker Breno Silveira, director of Fox series One Against All.

English sample chapters.