[November 16, 1922 - ]
As Pequenas Memórias
/ Memories of my Youth
Saramago writes about his childhood: some parts in
Azhinaga, the town where he was born, and other parts in Lisbon where he
left to when he was two. With the poetic prose that characterizes him and
without any trace of resentment, Saramago narrates the misery in which his
family lived. Contains photos with comments made in his own handwriting.
''A person writes about their adult memoirs perhaps to say, 'Look how
important I am'. (...) So, I focused on the years from four to fifteen.''
Description in Spanish: ''Me interesa conocer mi relacion con ese nino que
fui. Ese nino esta en mi, siempre ha estado y siempre lo estara. Un adulto
escribe memorias de adulto, acaso para decir: ''Miren que importante
soy''. He hecho memorias de nino, y me he sentido nino haciendolas; queria
que los lectores supieran de donde salio el hombre que soy. Asi que me
centre en unos anos, de los cuatro a los quince''.
As Intermitências da Morte
/ Death with Interruptions
Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago's brilliant new novel poses
the question -- what happens when the grim reaper decides there will be no
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?
Ensaio sobre a Lucidez
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.
O Homem Duplicado
/ The Double
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.
/ The Cave
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.
O Conto da Ilha Desconhecida
/ The Tale of the Unknown Island
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.
Todos os Nomes
/ All the Names
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
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.
Ensaio sobre a Cegueira
A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness"
that spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental
hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing
food rations and assaulting 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.
O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo
/ The Gospel According to Jesus Christ
This is a skeptic’s journey into the meaning of God
and of human existence. At once an ironic rendering of the life of Christ
and a beautiful novel, Saramago’s tale has sparked intense discussion
about the meaning of Christianity and the Church as an institution.
História do Cerco de Lisboa
/ The History of the Siege of Lisbon
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.
A Jangada de Pedra
/ The Stone Raft
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.
O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis
/ The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
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.
Memorial do Convento
/ Baltasar and Blimunda
From the recipient of the 1998
Nobel Prize in Literature 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.
Manual de Pintura e Caligrafia
/ Manual of Painting and Calligraphy
By the author of "Baltasar and Blimunda". The last
years of Salazar's dictatorship provide a backdrop for this novel. The
story is told by H, a second-rate artist commissioned by a wealthy client
to paint a family portrait. As he works, he reflects on his struggles to
survive in a bourgeois world.
Viagem a Portugal
/ Journey to Portugal: In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture
When José Saramago decided to write a book about
Portugal, his only desire was that it be unlike all other books on the
subject, and in this he has certainly succeeded. Recording the events and
observations of a journey across the length and breadth of the country he
loves dearly, Saramago brings Portugal to life as only a writer of his
brilliance can. Forfeiting the usual sources such as tourist guides and
road maps, he scours the country with the eyes and ears of an observer
fascinated by the ancient myths and history of his people. Whether it be
an inaccessible medieval fortress set on a cliff, a wayside chapel thick
with cobwebs, or a grand mansion in the city, the extraordinary places of
this land come alive.
Always meticulously attentive to those elements of ancient Portugal that
persist today, he examines the country in its current period of rapid
transition and growth. Journey to Portugal is an ode to a country
and its rich traditions.
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