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Culture

The life of Jose Saramago

media José Saramago Wikimedia commons

Jose Saramago, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 1998, died on Friday leaving 35  works. A communist, he was famous for his anti-globalisation ideas and his controversial novels.

  • 1922 born on 16 November to a family of landless peasants, in a small village in the Portuguese province of Ribatejo, around 100 kilometres of Lisbon; forced to leave school at 12 as his parents cannot afford to pay for his education.
  • 1944 marries Ilda Reis.
  • 1947 birth of only daughter Violante; writes his first book The Land of Sin.
  • 1969 joins the illegal and notoriously hard-line Portuguese Communist Party.
  • 1970 divorces Ilda Reis.
  • 1982 wins fame in the English-speaking world with Baltasar and Blimunda. A picaresque love story set during the Portuguese Inquisition that led him to be compared with Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
  • 1988 remarries, this time to Spanish journalist Pilar del Río.
  • 1991 publishes The Gospel according to Jesus Christ, which arouses considerable controversy in Portugal. The conservative Portuguese government vetoes its presentation for the European Literary Prize under the pretext that the book is offensive to Catholics.
  • 1995 writes the parable Blindness, where a city is reduced to savagery by a mysterious plague of sightlessness. The book is later adapted for cinema by Fernando Mierelles and premiered as the opening film at the Cannes Film festival in 2008
  • 1998 is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
  • 2010 dies, leaving more than 35 works, including poems, novels, essays and drama.
     
 
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