The Coffee Trader

Novel, Historical novel by David Liss


The Coffee Trader is a historical novel by David Liss, set in 17th century Amsterdam. The story revolves around the activities of commodity trader Miguel Lienzo, a Jew who is a refugee from the Portuguese Inquisition. Recovering from near financial ruin, he embarks on a coffee trading scheme with a Dutch woman; kept secret because it is forbidden by his community council. The scheme involves coffee, a new import to Europe. Miguel navigates the social structures of the Amsterdam business world, the politics of the council, and the plots of competitors.
The character of Miguel Lienzo is the uncle of Benjamin Weaver, the protagonist of Liss's first novel, A Conspiracy of Paper. This novel is set about thirty years earlier, but is not a prequel.

First Published


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