José Saramago was born in 1922 in Azinhaga, Portugal, the son of rural laborers. He grew up in great poverty in Lisbon, and was forced to abandon school at the age of 12 in order to earn a living. Saramago was spent 2 years training as a technician,did a number of manual jobs before becoming a journalist, translator, and eventually a writer . In 1969 he joined the Communist Party of Portugal, which was forbidden during the military dictatorship, but he also criticized the party. In the 1970s Saramago supported himself mostly by translation works, and since 1979 he has devoted himself entirely to writing.
Following the publication of his most controversial book, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, he faced intense criticism from members of the country's Catholic community, and Portugal's conservative government would not allow Saramago's work to compete for the European Literary Prize, arguing that it offended Catholics. As a result, Saramago and his wife moved to Lanzarote, an island in the Canaries, where he lives today.
Saramago is now one of the most acclaimed writers in the world, having written plays, short stories, novels, poems, libretti, diaries, and travelogues. His books have been translated into dozens of languages. He is also the author of numerous novels, including All the Names, Blindness, and The Cave. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Saramago died on 18 June 2010, aged 87, having spent the last few years of his life living in Lanzarote, Spain. Portugal declared two days of mourning. His funeral was held in Lisbon on 20 June 2010, in the presence of more than 20,000 people.
This bio was last updated on 07/01/2010. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.
Become a Member
and discover your next great read!
The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it
Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!
The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.