Jose Saramago Small Memories

ISBN 13: 9780151015085

Small Memories

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José Saramago was eighteen months old when he moved from the village of Azinhaga with his father and mother to live in Lisbon. But he would return to the village throughout his childhood and adolescence to stay with his maternal grandparents, illiterate peasants in the eyes of the outside world, but a fount of knowledge, affection, and authority to young José. 

Shifting back and forth between childhood and his teenage years, between Azinhaga and Lisbon, this is a mosaic of memories, a simply told, affecting look back into the author’s boyhood: the tragic death of his older brother at the age of four; his mother pawning the family’s blankets every spring and buying them back in time for winter; his beloved grandparents bringing the weaker piglets into their bed on cold nights; and Saramago’s early encounters with literature, from teaching himself to read by deciphering articles in the daily newspaper, to poring over an entertaining dialogue in a Portuguese-French conversation guide, not realizing that he was in fact reading a play by Molière. 

Written with Saramago’s characteristic wit and honesty, Small Memories traces the formation of an artist fascinated by words and stories from an early age and who emerged, against all odds, as one of the world’s most respected writers.

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Review:

"...immediate, genial, and full of simple affection"--The Guardian

"...reading it feels very much like sharing a fireside with a talkative uncle... [the] book's epigraph... seems to encapsulate Saramago's attitude to writing: a childlike guilelessness and innocence channelled through a wise old mind."--The Observer

"...a powerful and nostalgic memoir"--The Times

"The elliptical prose style that earned Saramago the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998 imbues these snapshots with a sense of time irrecoverably lost as the author, who died earlier this year, reprises the significant episodes of his youth. Any lack of drama will be of little consequence to admirers of Saramago, whose mostly rural vignettes reflect the emotional pitch of an illustrious literary career."--Financial Times

Book Description:

A delightful insight into the formation of an artist who would become one of the world's most respected writers.

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