Biography of Jose Saramago

Biography

José de Sousa Saramago is a Portuguese writer, journalist and playwright. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998. He currently lives in the Canary islands.

José Saramago was born in Azinhaga, a small village north-east of Lisbon in 1922. In 1924, José's family moved to Lisbon, where, although he was a good student, José had to leave school for financial reasons. Eventually he began working as a translator and a journalist for the paper Diário de Noticias. He eventually married Ilda Reis, with whom he had a daughter in 1947. In 1988, José Saramago remarried to Pilar del Rio, a journalist who is also the official translator of his books into Spanish.

Saramago didn't achieve literary acclaim until his mid-fifties with the publication of the novel Baltasar and Blimunda. Saramago has been a source of controversy since he joined the Portuguese Communist Party in 1969–he is also openly an atheist. His stances on the state of Israel and his novel The Gospel According to Jesus Christ have angered both the Jewish and Catholic community respectively.

Saramago's novels are stylistically unique in a few ways. The premises of his novels are often fantastic: In The Stone Raft, the iberian peninsula breaks off from the rest of Europe; In the The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, poet Fernando Pessoa's pseudonym outlives him by a year; in Blindness, a nameless city is stricken by a plague of blindness. Saramago also tends to write extremely long sentences without embedded dialogue. He also resists the use of proper nouns, meaning that the majority of his characters do not have names.

Bibliography

Terra do Pecado, 1947

Os Poemas Possíveis, 1966

Provavelmente Alegria, 1970

Deste Mundo e do Outro, 1971

A Bagagem do Viajante, 1973

As Opiniões que o DL teve, 1974

O Ano de 1993, 1975

Os Apontamentos, 1976

Manual de Pintura e Caligrafia, 1977 (Manual of Painting and Calligraphy, 1993)

Objecto Quase, 1978

Levantado do Chão, 1980

Viagem a Portugal, 1981 (Journey to Portugal, 2000)

Memorial do Convento, 1982 (Baltasar and Blimunda, 1987)

O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis, 1986 (The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, 1991)

A Jangada de Pedra, 1986 (The Stone Raft, 1994)

História do Cerco de Lisboa, 1989 (The History of the Siege of Lisbon, 1996)

O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo, 1991 (The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, 1993)

Ensaio sobre a Cegueira, 1995 (Blindness, 1997)

Todos os Nomes, 1997 (All the Names, 1999)

O Conto da Ilha Desconhecida, 1997 (The Tale of the Unknown Island, 1999)

A Caverna, 2001 (The Cave, 2002)

O Homem Duplicado, 2003 (The Double, 2004)

Ensaio sobre a Lucidez, 2004 (Seeing, 2006 )

Don Giovanni ou o Dissoluto Absolvido, 2005

As Intermitências da Morte, 2005 (Death with Interruptions, 2008)

As Pequenas Memórias, 2006 (Memories of my Youth)

A Viagem do Elefante, 2008 (The Trip of the Elephant)


Study Guides on Works by Jose Saramago

In this 1998 book by Nobel Prize winner José Saramago, an unnamed city is beset by an epidemic of the "white sickness," a disease that instantly turns everyone blind. Everyone, that is, except for one woman. The novel follows the story of seven...