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Senhor José is a low-grade clerk in the city's Central Registry, where the living and the dead share the same shelf space. A middle-aged bachelor, he has no interest in anything beyond the certificates of birth, marriage, divorce, and death that are his daily routine. But one day, when he comes across the records of an anonymous young woman, something happens to him. Obsessed, Senhor José sets off to follow the thread that may lead him to the woman-but as he gets closer, he discovers more about her, and about himself, than he would ever have wished.The loneliness of people's lives, the effects of chance, the discovery of love-all coalesce in this extraordinary novel that displays the power and art of José Saramago in brilliant form.
From the recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature, a "brilliant...enchanting novel" (New York Times Book Review) of romance, deceit, religion, and magic set in eighteenth-century Portugal at the height of the Inquisition. National bestseller. Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.
A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers-among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears-through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century, Blindness has swept the reading public with its powerful portrayal of man's worst appetites and weaknesses-and man's ultimately exhilarating spirit. The stunningly powerful novel of man's will to survive against all odds, by the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature The e-book includes a sample chapter from the late Nobel Prize winner's final work, Cain.
"Suitably disturbing--and a pleasure to read." -- The ScotsmanIn this, his last novel, José Saramago daringly reimagines the characters and narratives of the Old Testament, recalling his provocative The Gospel According to Jesus Christ. His tale runs from the Garden of Eden, when God realizes he has forgotten to give Adam and Eve the gift of speech, to the moment when Noah's Ark lands on the dry peak of Ararat. Cain, the despised, the murderer, is Saramago's protagonist. Condemned to wander forever after he kills his brother Abel, Cain makes his way through the world in the company of a personable donkey. He is a witness to and participant in the stories of Isaac and Abraham, the destruction of the Tower of Babel, Moses and the golden calf, the trials of Job. The rapacious Queen Lilith takes him as her lover. An old man with two sheep on a rope crosses his path. And again and again, Cain encounters a God whose actions seem callous, cruel, and unjust. He confronts Him, he argues with Him. "And one thing we know for certain," Saramago writes, "is that they continued to argue and are arguing still." A startling book--sensual, funny--in all ways a fitting end to Saramago's extraordinary career.
Cipriano Algor, an elderly potter, lives with his daughter Marta and her husband Marçal in a small village on the outskirts of The Center, an imposing complex of shops, apartments, and offices to which Cipriano delivers his pots and jugs every month. On one such trip, he is told not to make any more deliveries. Unwilling to give up his craft, Cipriano tries his hand at making ceramic dolls. Astonishingly, The Center places an order for hundreds, and Cipriano and Marta set to work-until the order is cancelled and the three have to move from the village into The Center. When mysterious sounds of digging emerge from beneath their apartment, Cipriano and Marçal investigate, and what they find transforms the family's life. Filled with the depth, humor, and the extraordinary philosophical richness that marks each of Saramago's novels, The Cave is one of the essential books of our time.
This collection, available exclusively in e-book form, brings together the twelve novels (and one novella) of the great Portuguese writer José Saramago, with an introductory essay by Ursula Le Guin. From Saramago's early work, like the enchanting Baltasar & Blimunda and the controversial Gospel According to Jesus Christ, through his masterpiece Blindness and its sequel Seeing, to his later fables of politics, chance, history, and love, like All the Names and Death with Interruptions, this volume showcases the range and depth of Saramago's career, his inimitable narrative voice, and his vast reserves of invention, humor, and understanding.
Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago's brilliant new novel poses the question -- what happens when the grim reaper decides there will be no more death? On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This of course causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration-flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home-families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots.Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets, and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small d, became human and were to fall in love?
Tertuliano Máximo Afonso is a divorced, depressed history teacher. To lift his spirits, a colleague suggests he rent a certain video. Tertuliano watches the film, unimpressed. But during the night, when he is awakened by noises in his apartment, he goes into the living room to find that the VCR is replaying the video. He watches in astonishment as a man who looks exactly like him-or, more specifically, exactly like he did five years before, mustachioed and fuller in the face-appears on the screen. He sleeps badly.Against his better judgment, Tertuliano decides to pursue his double. As he roots out the man's identity, what begins as a whimsical story becomes a "wonderfully twisted meditation on identity and individuality" (The Boston Globe). Saramago displays his remarkable talent in this haunting tale of appearance versus reality.
A delightful, witty tale of friendship and adventure from prize-winning novelist José Saramago In 1551, King João III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present: an elephant named Solomon. In José Saramago's remarkable and imaginative retelling, Solomon and his keeper, Subhro, begin in dismal conditions, forgotten in a corner of the palace grounds. When it occurs to the king and queen that an elephant would be an appropriate wedding gift, everyone rushes to get them ready: Subhro is given two new suits of clothes and Solomon a long overdue scrub. Accompanied by the Archduke, his new wife, and the royal guard, these unlikely heroes traverse a continent riven by the Reformation and civil wars, witnessed along the way by scholars, historians, and wide-eyed ordinary people as they make their way through the storied cities of northern Italy; they brave the Alps and the terrifying Isarco and Brenner Passes; across the Mediterranean Sea and up the Inn River; and at last, toward their grand entry into the imperial city.
A wry, fictional account of the life of Christ by Nobel laureate José Saramago A brilliant skeptic, José Saramago envisions the life of Jesus Christ and the story of his Passion as things of this earth: A child crying, the caress of a woman half asleep, the bleat of a goat, a prayer uttered in the grayish morning light. His idea of the Holy Family reflects the real complexities of any family, and--as only Saramago can--he imagines them with tinges of vision, dream, and omen. The result is a deft psychological portrait that moves between poetry and irony, spirituality and irreverence of a savior who is at once the Son of God and a young man. In this provocative, tender novel, the subject of wide critical discussion and wonder, Saramago questions the meaning of God, the foundations of the Church, and human existence itself.
In this "ingenious" novel (New York Times) by "one of Europe's most original and remarkable writers" (Los Angeles Times), a proofreader's deliberate slip opens the door to romance-and confounds the facts of Portugal's past. Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.
The Lives of Things collects José Saramago's early experiments with the short story form, attesting to the young novelist's imaginative power and incomparable skill in elaborating the most extravagant fantasies. Combining bitter satire, outrageous parody and Kafkaesque hallucinations, these stories explore the horror and repression that paralyzed Portugal under the Salazar regime and pay tribute to human resilience in the face of injustice and institutionalized tyranny.Beautifully written and deeply unsettling, The Lives of Things illuminates the development of Saramago's prose and records the genesis of themes that resound throughout his novels.
Manual of Painting and Calligraphy was José Saramago's first novel. Written eight years before the critically acclaimed Baltasar and Blimunda, it is a story of self-discovery set against the background of the last years of Salazar's dictatorship. A struggling young artist, commissioned to paint a portrait of an influential industrialist, learns in the process about himself and the world around him. The brilliant juxtaposition of a passionate love story and the crisis of a nation foreshadows all of Saramago's major works. A must-have for any devotee of the great Portuguese Nobel laureate, Manual of Painting and Calligraphy is available in the United States for the first time.
Beginning on the eve of the 2008 US presidential election, The Notebook evokes life in Saramago's beloved Lisbon, revisits conversations with friends, and offers meditations on the author's favorite writers. Precise observations and moments of arresting significance are rendered with pointillist detail, and together demonstrate an acute understanding of our times. Characteristically critical and uncompromising, Saramago dissects the financial crisis, deplores Israel's punishment of Gaza, and reflects on the rise of Barack Obama. The Notebook is a unique journey into the personal and political world of one of the greatest writers of our time.
En este libro fundamental, Seven Stories Press presenta una poderosa colección de escritos literarios, filosóficos y políticos del enigmático vocero de los zapatistas, SubComandante Marcos. Con la Introducción del ganador del Premio Nobel, José Saramago, e ilustrado con bellas fotos en blanco y negro, Nuestra Arma es Nuestra Palabra cristaliza, la pasión de un rebelde, la poesía de un movimiento y el genio literario de los indígenas de México. Marcos captura por primera vez la atención mundial el primero de enero de 1994 cuando un grupo guerrillero indígena que se llama a sí mismo "Zapatista", en rebelión contra el gobierno de México, se apodera de poblaciones claves en Chiapas, el Estado más al sur del país. En los ocho años que han pasado desde esa rebelión, Marcos ha alterado el curso de la política mexicana y ha surgido como un símbolo internacional de la construcción de los movimientos de base, rebelión y democracia. Su prolífico torrente de escritos de poesía política, cuentos, mitos tradicionales que Marcos ha recogido desde el primero de enero de 1994, llena más de cuatro volúmenes. Nuestra Arma es Nuestra Palabra presenta lo mejor de sus escritos, muchos de los cuales no habían sido publicado antes en inglés. Nuestra Arma es Nuestra Palabra está dividido en tres secciones. La primera junta sus ensayos políticos esenciales y muestra la evolución del pensamiento zapatista como un movimiento tanto dentro, como fuera de México. La segunda, presenta el pensamiento filosófico de Marcos, sus reflexiones personales e incluye una recolección humorística de sus primeros días de guerrillero, así como sus cartas a otros escritores. En la tercera aparecen muchas historias cortas, cuentos populares, y mitos indígenas que Marcos ha conocido, incluída la premiada "Historia de los Colores". A través de este libro extraordinario oimos la voz no comprometida de las comunidades indígenas que viven en resistencia, expresando por medio de manifiestos y mitos el apremio universal de dignidad, democracia y libertad. Es la voz de un pueblo que rehusa ser olvidado, es la voz la transición de México, la voz de un pueblo luchando por la democracia, usando sus palabras como su única arma.
In this landmark book, Seven Stories Press presents a powerful collection of literary, philosophical, and political writings of the masked Zapatista spokesperson, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos. Introduced by Nobel Prize winner José Saramago, and illustrated with beautiful black and white photographs, Our Word Is Our Weapon crystallizes "the passion of a rebel, the poetry of a movement, and the literary genius of indigenous Mexico." Marcos first captured world attention on January 1, 1994, when he and an indigenous guerrilla group calling themselves "Zapatistas" revolted against the Mexican government and seized key towns in Mexico's southernmost state of Chiapas. In the six years that have passed since their uprising, Marcos has altered the course of Mexican politics and emerged an international symbol of grassroots movement-building, rebellion, and democracy. The prolific stream of poetic political writings, tales, and traditional myths that Marcos has penned since January 1, 1994 fill more than four volumes. Our Word Is Our Weapon presents the best of these writings, many of which have never been published before in English.Throughout this remarkable book we hear the uncompromising voice of indigenous communities living in resistance, expressing through manifestos and myths the universal human urge for dignity, democracy, and liberation. It is the voice of a people refusing to be forgotten the voice of Mexico in transition, the voice of a people struggling for democracy by using their word as their only weapon.
On election day in the capital, it is raining so hard that no one has bothered to come out to vote. The politicians are growing jittery. Should they reschedule the elections for another day? Around three o'clock, the rain finally stops. Promptly at four, voters rush to the polling stations, as if they had been ordered to appear.But when the ballots are counted, more than 70 percent are blank. The citizens are rebellious. A state of emergency is declared. But are the authorities acting too precipitously? Or even blindly? The word evokes terrible memories of the plague of blindness that hit the city four years before, and of the one woman who kept her sight. Could she be behind the blank ballots? A police superintendent is put on the case.What begins as a satire on governments and the sometimes dubious efficacy of the democratic system turns into something far more sinister. A singular novel from the author of Blindness.
José Saramago was eighteen months old when he moved from the village of Azinhaga with his father and mother to live in Lisbon. But he would return to the village throughout his childhood and adolescence to stay with his maternal grandparents, illiterate peasants in the eyes of the outside world, but a fount of knowledge, affection, and authority to young José. Shifting back and forth between childhood and his teenage years, between Azinhaga and Lisbon, this is a mosaic of memories, a simply told, affecting look back into the author's boyhood: the tragic death of his older brother at the age of four; his mother pawning the family's blankets every spring and buying them back in time for winter; his beloved grandparents bringing the weaker piglets into their bed on cold nights; and Saramago's early encounters with literature, from teaching himself to read by deciphering articles in the daily newspaper, to poring over an entertaining dialogue in a Portuguese-French conversation guide, not realizing that he was in fact reading a play by Molière. Written with Saramago's characteristic wit and honesty, Small Memories traces the formation of an artist fascinated by words and stories from an early age and who emerged, against all odds, as one of the world's most respected writers.
When the Iberian Peninsula breaks free of Europe and begins to drift across the North Atlantic, five people are drawn together on the newly formed island-first by surreal events and then by love. "A splendidly imagined epic voyage...a fabulous fable" (Kirkus Reviews). Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.
A man went to knock at the king's door and said, Give me a boat. The king's house had many other doors, but this was the door for petitions. Since the king spent all his time sitting at the door for favors (favors being offered to the king, you understand), whenever he heard someone knocking at the door for petitions, he would pretend not to hear . . ." Why the petitioner required a boat, where he was bound for, and who volunteered to crew for him, the reader will discover in this delightful fable, a philosophic love story worthy of Swift or Voltaire.
The year: 1936. Europe dances while an invidious dictator establishes himself in Portugal. The city: Lisbon-gray, colorless, chimerical. Ricardo Reis, a doctor and poet, has just come home after sixteen years in Brazil. Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.