José Saramago, one of the most critically acclaimed writers worldwide, was distinguished with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998. This honour, the first to be bestowed on a Portuguese-language writer, marked one of the high points in a long and manifold career. Largely an auto-didact, Saramago never let fame obscure his clear vision of the world, tempered by a lifelong acquaintance with severe inequality, political struggle, but also success, be it in terms of the 1974 revolution that freed Portugal from nearly fifty years of dictatorship, be it in the growing acclaim he received since deciding to focus on writing. The Nobel Prize provided Saramago with a wider, perhaps more effective, base for expressing his opinions; but it did not bring about a rupture, either with his political convictions, or with his writing. In the large bibliography on Saramago sustained critical studies in English are still relatively scarce. This volume, composed by many diverse voices, and the first to focus on Saramago's late works, strives to address that gap. As 2022 marks Saramago's centenary, this volume is dedicated especially to his enduring memory and to all the futures his works made possible to envision.
About the Author:
Paulo de Medeiros is Professor of Modern and Contemporary World Literatures in the Department of English & Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick. Previously, he was Associate Professor at Bryant College (USA) and Professor at Utrecht University (Netherlands). In 2011-2012 he was Keeley Fellow at Wadham College, Oxford and in 2013 and 2014 President of the American Portuguese Studies Association. He is also a Research Associate of the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra. He has published widely on Comparative Literature and Critical Theory, as well as on Postcolonial Studies. With José N. Ornelas he edited a volume of essays on Saramago, Da Possibilidade do Impossível (2007). He is the author of two monographs on Fernando Pessoa: Pessoa's Geometry of the Abyss (2013) and O Silêncio das Sereias (2015). Most recently he co-edited a volume of essays on Contemporary Lusophone African Film (2021). His current projects include a study on Postimperial Europe.
José N. Ornelas is currently Professor Emeritus and previously Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1974-2017). He is a founder of the American Portuguese Studies Association and was its Vice-President (1998-2000) and President (2000-2002). He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the Summer of 1995, 1996 and 1997, and also a Visiting Professor at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil on three different occasions. With Paulo de Medeiros he edited a volume of essays on Saramago, Da Possibilidade do Impossível (2007). He has published widely mostly on contemporary Portuguese narrative, including on women writers, and on postcolonial narrative. His current projects include several studies on José Saramago and an autobiography.