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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1998 - Fiction - 294 pages
106 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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Review: Blindness (Blindness #1)

User Review  - Goodreads

Dear Mr. Saramago, I have just recently completed reading your novel "Blindness." I have to say, that I loved the way you depicted the dehumanization processes within the abandoned insane asylum. Also ... Read full review

Review: Blindness (Blindness #1)

User Review  - Goodreads

Ouch. I think I strained my reading muscles trying to finish this one. The only things I can say I liked about it are the concept of a world gone blind, and the first few chapters that follow patient ... Read full review

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Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17

Section 9

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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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