THE LIVES OF THINGS by José Saramago, translated by Giovanni Pontiero

The Lives of Things—Cover.jpg
The Lives of Things—Cover.jpg

THE LIVES OF THINGS by José Saramago, translated by Giovanni Pontiero


~40,000 WORDS
Verso Books

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A surreal short story collection from the master of what-ifs.

The Lives of Things collects José Saramago’s early experiments with the short story form, attesting to the young novelist’s imaginative power and incomparable skill in elaborating the most extravagant fantasies. Combining bitter satire, outrageous parody and Kafkaesque hallucinations, these stories explore the horror and repression that paralyzed Portugal under the Salazar regime and pay tribute to human resilience in the face of injustice and institutionalized tyranny.

Beautifully written and deeply unsettling, The Lives of Things illuminates the development of Saramago’s prose and records the genesis of themes that resound throughout his novels.

The Portuguese Nobel Laureate José Saramago was a novelist, playwright and journalist. His numerous books, including the bestselling All the Names, Blindness, and The Cave, have been translated into more than forty languages and have established him as one of the world’s most influential writers. He died in June 2010.

“A poetic encapsulation of Saramago's extraordinary talent…Saramago's stories have a renewed vibrancy in the current climate of doomsday scenarios, broken balance sheets and government debt. They remind us that when the law fails, a good metaphor can take its place.” – Bookforum

“An intriguing coda to a fascinating career.” — Metro

“Easily bears comparison to Calvino and Borges, albeit with a more politically astute edge...a welcome reminder of why he deserved the Nobel.” — Scotland on Sunday

“One of the giants of European literature...For new readers, this collection is an essential introduction to Saramago's concerns with social decay, alienation and political repression and the alternatives to them. For devotees, it is one to savor.” — Morning Star

“Here, the literary lion experiments with shorter, more inventive forms, and the results are lucid and impressive…Saramago's considerable talent is clearly manifest.” — Publishers Weekly

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