Blindness

Front Cover
Harcourt Brace, 1998 - Fiction - 294 pages
61 Reviews
Winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature. A city is hit by an epidemic of 'white blindness.' The blindness spreads, sparing no one. Authorities confine the blind to a vacant mental hospital secured by armed guards. Inside, the criminal element among the blind hold the rest captive: food rations are stolen, women are raped. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers through the barren streets. The developments within this oddly anonymous group -- the first blind man, the old man with the black eye patch, the girl with dark glasses, the boy with no mother, and the dog of tears -- are as uncanny as the surrounding chaos is harrowing.

A parable of loss and disorientation, of man's worst appetities and hopeless weaknesses, "Blindness" is one of the most challenging, thought-provoking, and ultimately exhilarating novels published in any language in recent years.

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This book has a wonderful premise. - Goodreads
The plot idea is actually pretty good. - Goodreads
For me, it marked Saramago as a truly brilliant writer. - Goodreads

Review: Blindness (Blindness #1)

User Review  - Michael Michaud - Goodreads

I had read and heard an awful lot about this book, so I was surprised, when I mentioned to a colleague that I had just ordered the book, that she advised me to skip it for being an abysmal work of ... Read full review

Review: Blindness (Blindness #1)

User Review  - Shauna - Goodreads

What Blindness lacks in punctuation it makes up for in poop. The word "excrement" appeared so often that I had to do a double take on the rare occasions I encountered the similarly spelled "excitement ... Read full review

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References to this book

The Banality of Denial
Yair Auron
Limited preview - 2003
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About the author (1998)

Josť Saramago was born on November 16, 1922. He spent most of his childhood on his parent's farm, except while attending school in Lisbon. Before devoting himself exclusively to writing novels in 1976, he worked as a draftsman, a publisher's reader, an editor, translator, and political commentator for Diario de Lisboa. He is indisputably Portugal's best-known literary figure and his books have been translated into more than 25 languages. Although he wrote his first novel in 1947, he waited some 35 years before winning critical acclaim for work such as the Memorial do Convento. His works include The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, The Stone Raft, Baltasar and Blimunda, The History of the Siege of Lisbon, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, and Blindness. At age 75, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998 for his work in which "parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony, continually enables us to apprehend an elusory reality." He died from a prolonged illness that caused multiple organ failure on June 18, 2010 at the age of 87.

Giovanni Pontiero (1932-1996) was the ablest translator of twentieth century literature in Portuguese and one of its most ardent advocates. He was the principal translator into English of the works of Jose Saramago and was awarded the Teixeira-Gomes Prize for his translation of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.

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