Columbus and Caonabó: 1493–1498 Retold

Columbus and Caonabó: 1493–1498 Retold dramatizes Columbus’s invasion of “Española” on his second voyage and the bitter resistance mounted by its Taíno peoples, led by the Taíno chieftain Caonabó. Based closely on primary sources, it ventures beyond Eurocentric accounts to tell the story from both Taíno and European perspectives—including through the voices of Caonabó, his wife Anacaona, Columbus, and Spain’s Queen Isabella—and depicts the fateful clash of their soldiers, cultures, and religions.

Praise for

Columbus and Caonabó: 1493–1498 Retold

“…succeeds on two levels, as all the best historical fiction must do. With meticulous research and deft phrasing, Andrew Rowen brings the 1490s to life. At the same time, he tells a great story, carrying us on a narrative journey as skillfully…”
Matthew Restall, Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest, When Montezuma Met Cortés

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“…fascinating. Rowen’s research into the historical record is impressively thorough…While unprovable, the fictionalizations are one of the book’s great strengths, stepping beyond worn stereotypes to humanize the protagonists as individuals…the book adds to our understanding of the Taínos and Contact history.”
—L. Antonio Curet, Caribbean archaeologist, museum curator. Co-ed., Islands at the Crossroads: Migration, Seafaring, and Interaction in the Caribbean

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“… Rowen takes us on a deep journey that humanizes our ancestors and treats us as equals rather than passive victims. The dialogue between the Caciques and Spaniards is intelligent, meaningful, and extremely believable…His writing invokes vivid images of events…credibly weaving fiction and fact! I recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject!”
—Kacike Jorge Baracutei Estevez, Higuayagua Taíno of the Caribbean

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Encounters Unforeseen: 1492 Retold

Encounters Unforeseen: 1492 Retold dramatizes the history leading to Columbus’s first voyage and the initial encounters between Taíno peoples and Europeans, also from a bicultural perspective. Based closely on primary sources, it presents the life stories of the Taíno chieftains who would know Columbus—Caonabó, Guacanagarí, and Guarionex—side by side with those of Columbus and Queen Isabella and portrays their astonishment and objectives when the encounters begin in 1492.

Praise for

Encounters Unforeseen: 1492 Retold

“Rowen’s research…is nothing less than breathtaking. The sensitivity and originality of his portrayals are equally impressive, avoiding the trap of simply retelling a familiar tale from an exclusively European perspective or casting the explorers as nothing more than rapacious colonialists.…remarkably new and inventive…”
—Kirkus Reviews

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“…a fascinating story of enmeshed lives, and the consequences of new worlds….written with scrupulous detail to historical accuracy…”
—William F. Keegan, Curator of Caribbean Archaeology, Florida Museum of Natural History, Talking Taíno

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“An impressively crafted work of riveting fiction from beginning to end, author Andrew Rowen has firmly grounded his truly exceptional novel in historical fact. The result is nothing less than a literary masterpiece that is as deftly complex as it is consistently entertaining.”
Midwest Book Review

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