Miranda France

Recollections of a Wild Radish

Small Memories: A Memoir

By

Harvill Secker 181pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Born in 1922, José de Sousa was supposed to be named after his father. The clerk charged with registering his birth was drunk, however, and, through accident or malice, tacked on an extra surname: ‘Saramago’, meaning wild radish – the nickname by which the Sousa family was known in the Portuguese village of Azinhaga. What bureaucrats set down mere men may struggle to alter, and José de Sousa senior eventually found it easier to add ‘Saramago’ to his own name than to remove it from his son’s.

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