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Author Information: José Saramago

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Biography's Source: IBList user synopsis

Born in 1922 to a family of farmers in the little village of Azinhaga (Ribatejo) north of Lisbon. For financial reasons he abandoned his high-school studies and trained as a mechanic. After trying different jobs in the civil service, he worked for a publishing company for twelve years and then for newspapers, at one time as assistant editor of Diário de Notícias, a position he was forced to leave after the political events in November 1975. In 1969 he joined the then illegal Communist Party, in which however he has always adopted a critical standpoint. Between 1975 and 1980 Saramago supported himself as a translator but since his literary successes in the 1980s he has devoted himself to his own writing. His international breakthrough came in 1982 with the blasphemous and humorous love story "Baltasar and Blimunda", a novel set in 18th century Portugal. Since 1992 he has been living on Lanzarote, the northeasternmost of the Canaries. Saramago's oeuvre totals 30 works, and comprises not only prose but also poetry, essays and drama. His awards include Prémio Cidade de Lisboa 1980, Prémio PEN Club Português 1983 and 1984, Prémio da Crítica da Associação Portuguesa 1986, Grande Prémio de Romance e Novela 1991, Prémio Vida Literária 1993, Prémio Camões 1995.

Died 18 June 2010




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