Winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year
A devastating and often horrific look at societal breakdown, Blindness is one of the most acclaimed novels from José Saramago, Portugal's only Nobel laureate for literature. Far more than a mere dystopian plague novel, Blindness is a metaphorical account of society's basest tendencies in the face of catastrophe. Saramago's magnificently wending sentences and trademark style lend grace and beauty to an otherwise gruesome tale of epidemic chaos. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Beautifully written in a concise, haunting prose...this unsettling, highly original work is essential reading." Library Journal
"Saramago's Blindness is the best novel I've read since Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Love in the Time of Cholera. It is a novel of enormous skill and authority....Like all great books it is simultaneously contemporary and timeless, and ambitiously confronts the human condition without a false note struck anywhere. Saramago is one of the great writers of our time, and Blindness, ironically is the product of his extraordinary vision." David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars
"Blindness may be as revolutionary in its own way and time as were, say, The Trial and The Plague were in theirs. Another masterpiece." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Saramago writes phantasmagoria in the midst of the most astonishing fantasy he has a meticulous sense of detail. It's very eloquent stuff." Harold Bloom, author of The Western Canon
"It is the voice of Blindness that gives it its charm. By turns ironic, humorous and frank, there is a kind of wink of humor between author and reader that is perfectly imbued with fury at the excesses of the current century. Blindness reminds me of Kafka roaring with laughter as he read his stories to his friends....Blindness' impact carries the force of an author whose sensibility is significant." The Washington Post
"Blindness is a shattering work by a literary master." The Boston Globe
"More frightening than Stephen King, as unrelenting as a bad dream, José Saramago's Blindness politely rubs our faces in apocalypse....A metaphor like 'white blindness' might easily seem forced or labored, but Saramago makes it live by focusing on the stubbornly literal; his account of a clump of newly blind people trying to find their way to food or to the bathroom provides some surprisingly gripping passages. While this epidemic has a clear symbolic burden, it's also a real and very inconvenient affliction." Salon
In Blindness, a city is overcome by an epidemic of blindness that spares only one woman. She becomes a guide for a group of seven strangers and serves as the eyes and ears for the reader in this profound parable of loss and disorientation. We return to the city years later in Saramagos Seeing, a satirical commentary on government in general and democracy in particular. Together here for the first time, this beautiful edition will be a welcome addition to the library of any Saramago fan.
About the Author
José Saramago (1922-2010) was the author of many novels, among them Blindness, All the Names, Baltasar and Blimunda, and The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.