Tagus Press at UMass Dartmouth
2009 . 412 pp. 6 x 9"
Mystery / Fiction & Literature
$24.95 Paperback, 978-1-933227-23-8
“The Azores is an archipelago hundreds of miles west of the coast of Portugal, located in the mid-Atlantic. It is a relatively unknown (or unexploited) area that is not often discussed in the media—or in literature. This will change, however, if Darrell Kastin and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture has any say. Kastin, who descends from Azores natives, has used his knowledge of the islands, their culture and their history to weave, in The Undiscovered Island, a skillful tapestry of myth, history and personal revelation that is nothing short of fascinating. The story focuses on Julia Castro, who travels to the Azores from her home in California to seek out her father, who has mysteriously gone missing. Through her search for him, Julia encounters legends and superstitions that pervade the islands, colorful locals, local history and historical fantasy, and the magic of her roots and of herself. What Kastin has done with The Undiscovered Island is bring all of the color and quirk of this beautiful and under-appreciated area to the world’s attention—and we should thank him for that.”
- Ashley McCall, San Francisco Book Review
Winner of the 2010 IPPY Independent Publisher's Award for Multicultural Fiction Adult
Alarmed by her father Sebastião’s unexplained disappearance, Julia Castro travels from California to the family’s ancestral home in the Azores and finds the mid-Atlantic islands abuzz with tales of ghost ships, seductive sirens and witchcraft. The mystery deepens when a drowned man’s body is discovered halfway up a mountainside and an unknown island emerges from the sea.
As she pursues the search for her father, Julia gradually succumbs to the bewitching allure of the Azores—and to Nicolau, a fellow musician—eventually discovering a place where dreams lie just beyond the horizon, shrouded in mist.
History, legend, poetry and myth are seamlessly interwoven as the novel explores relationships between personal and cultural identity, fate and self-determination, reality and illusion. The Undiscovered Island is a lyrical evocation of a locale and a people, rendered with wonderful respect for Azorean tradition.
“A remarkably accomplished first novel, combining an epic quest, meticulously researched Azorean history and legend, lyrically written. The Portuguese-American heroine, a female Telemachus in search of her missing father, experiences high adventure ending in self-discovery. Especially recommended for lovers of magical realism.”
- Richard J. Larschan, professor of English, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) for Multicultural Fiction 2010