Miranda France

The Wisdom of Solomon

The Elephant’s Journey

By

Harvill Secker 197pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

His ideas are lucid, his humour winsome, but José Saramago is no easy read. Portugal’s greatest contemporary novelist began his writing career late, in his fifties, after working as a mechanic, and later in publishing and journalism. Nevertheless, by the time of his death in June, at the age of eighty-seven, he had managed to clock up nearly thirty novels, collections of poems and essays. In 1998, he won the Nobel Prize – despite opposition from the Vatican, which branded him ‘an unreconstructed communist’. Saramago’s final novel, Cain, has yet to be published in English. 

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