All the Names

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Harcourt, 1999 - Fiction - 238 pages
19 Reviews
Senhor Josť is a low-grade clerk in the city's Central Registry, where the living and the dead share the same shelf space. A middle-aged bachelor, he has no interest in anything beyond the certificates of birth, marriage, divorce, and death that are his daily preoccupations. In the evenings and on weekends, he works on bringing up to date his clipping file of the famous, the rising stars, the notorious. But when he comes across the birth certificate of an anonymous young woman, he decides that this cannot have been mere chance, that he has to discover more about her. Under the increasingly mystified eye of the Registrar, a godlike figure whose name is spoken only in whispers, the now obsessed Senhor Josť sets off to follow the thread that leads him to the unknown woman-but as he gets closer to a meeting with her, he discovers more about her, and about himself, than he would have wished. The loneliness of people's lives, the effects of chance and moments of recognition, the discovery of love, however tentative-once again Josť Saramago has written a timeless story.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ursula - LibraryThing

In an unnamed country, in an unnamed city, Senhor Josť works at the Central Registry. The Registry is the repository for records of the important events in the lives of the city's citizenry. A card is ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kakadoo202 - LibraryThing

a story that is unpredictable. great writing style. mysterious. Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
7
Section 3
17
Copyright

16 other sections not shown

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About the author (1999)

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.

Margaret Jull Costa has translated into the English more than 35 books, including Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago's "All the Names" & "The Tale of the Unknown Island", Antonio Perez Reverte's "The Flander's Panel", Fernando Pessoa's Book of Disquiet" & Luisa Valenzuela's "Bedside Manners". She lives in London.

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