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Jose de Sousa Saramago

Awards: Nobel Prize in Literature-1998

Born: 16/11/1922 in Azinhaga, Santaren, Portugal

Died: 18/06/2010 in Tias, Lanzarote Island, Spain. He was suffering from Leukemia. Portugal observed two days' of mourning upon his death. Saramago's cremation took place in Lisbon.

Citizen: Portuguese

Language: Portuguese

   Saramago was born in a small, remote village about 120 km North-East of Lisbon to a landless peasant family. When he was 2 year old, the family moved to Lisbon where his father worked as a policeman. A few months' after relocation to Lisbon, his elder brother passed away.

  After completion of Graduation, Saramago worked in many odd jobs, such as a car mechanic, a translator and a journalist. During this period, he took writing seriously. His first novel was Terra do Pecado published in 1947 and later translated as Land of Sin. Fame, however, eluded him till publication of his 4th Novel, Memorial do Convento. The novel fetched him Portuguese PEN Club Award. After the age of 60, he got international acclaim when his works were translated to Spanish, English and other languages.

    Saramago had his share of controversies. His portrayl of Jesus in his novel The Gospel According to Jesus Christ angered Portugal's Conservative Government under the Prime Ministership of Cavaco Silva and the book was not allowed to compete for the European Literary Prize. A disheartened Saramago announced self-exile to the Spanish Island of Lanzarote where he spent his last days.

  Saramago experimented with various styles particularly long sentences. Urban life and its isolation and the conflict of his characters between their individuality and social pressure found beautiful expression in his novels.

    Landmarks:* Saramago was an atheist and a self-described pessimist. * He joined Portuguese Communist Party in 1969 snd was a member till his death. *

Notable Works: Os Poemas Possíveis--Possible Poems(1966,poetry), Os Apontamentos -- The Notes(1976), Viagem a Portugal -- Journey to Portugal (1981/2000) , O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo--The Gospel According to Jesus Christ(1991/1993), Ensaio sobre a Cegueira-- Blindness(1995/1997), As Intermitências da Morte--Death with Interruptions (2005/2008), As Pequenas Memórias--  Small Memories(2006/2010), A Viagem do Elefante--The Elephant's Journey(2008/2010), Caim-- Cain(2009/2011)

Jose Saramago

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