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Blindnessby Jose Saramago
Synopses & Reviews
“Suitably disturbing—and a pleasure to read.” — The Scotsman
In 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 Noahs Ark lands on the dry peak of Ararat. Cain, the despised, the murderer, is Saramagos 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 Saramagos extraordinary career.
A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness". The blindness spreads, sparing no one. Authorities confine the blind to a vacant mental hospital secured by armed guards. Inside, the criminal element among the blind hold the rest captive: food rations are stolen, women are raped.
There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers through the barren streets. The developments within this oddly anonymous group — the first blind man, the old man with the black eye patch, the girl with dark glasses, the boy with no mother, and the dog of tears — are as uncanny as the surrounding chaos is harrowing.
A parable of loss and disorientation, of man's worst appetites and hopeless weaknesses, Blindness is one of the most challenging, thought-provoking, and ultimately exhilarating novels published in any language in recent years.
A multi-generational family saga that paints a sweeping portrait of modern Portuguese political history
A re-telling of the biblical story of Cain and Abel
A multigenerational family saga that paints a sweeping portrait of twentieth-century Portugal
First published in 1980, the City of Lisbon Prize-winning Raised from the Ground follows the changing fortunes of the Mau Tempo family—poor landless peasants not unlike Saramagos own grandparents. Set in Alentejo, a southern province of Portugal known for its vast agricultural estates, the novel charts the lives of the Mau Tempos as national and international events rumble on in the background—the coming of the republic in Portugual, the two World Wars, and an attempt on the dictator Salazars life. Yet nothing really impinges on the grim reality of the farm laborers lives until the first communist stirrings.
Finally available in English, Raised from the Ground is Saramagos most deeply personal novel, the book in which he found the signature style and voice that distinguishes all of his brilliant work.
From Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago, a magnificent, mesmerizing parable of loss
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 her charges—among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears—through the barren streets, and their procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. As Blindness reclaims the age-old story of a plague, it evokes the vivid and trembling horrors of the twentieth century, leaving readers with a powerful vision of the human spirit that's bound both by weakness and exhilarating strength.
About the Author
JOSÉ SARAMAGO was born in 1922. He is the author of numerous novels, including Blindness, All the Names, The Cave, and Death with Interruptions. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
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