José Saramago takes us on a thrilling literary journey through the land, history and culture of his native country.
From the misty mountains of the north to the southern seascape of the Algarve, the travels of Nobel Laureate José Saramago are a passionate rediscovery of his own land.
Embarking in the autumn of 1979, Saramago resolves to travel to Portugal, as well as through it. As his country emerges from an authoritarian dictatorship, he traverses his beloved homeland, neglecting its grand ‘sights’ in favour of Romanesque churches and cobweb-ridden chapels, determined to find belonging in the landscape which went on to inform his greatest works of fiction.
No portico, farmhouse or ancient church is left undisturbed in Saramago’s readable, if labyrinthine, tale of travelling across his homeland in 1979 — Samuel Muston ― Independent
None but a Portuguese could have written this book; none but Saramago could produce travel writing like this. It is a wholly appropriate tribute to that astonishing juncture where the sea ends and the land begins — Henry Sheen ― New Statesman
A book that…is a search for his country’s heartbeat… The writing is, as always with Saramago, dense: a labyrinth of meaning and innuendo. But what is clear is that he loves Portugal. — Simon Blow ― Independent on Sunday
One feels privileged to be in his company… This book is a joy to pick up and a delight to read — Hugh O’Shaughnessy ― Tablet
About the Author
José Saramago is one of the most important international writers of the last hundred years. Born in Portugal in 1922, he was in his sixties when he came to prominence as a writer with the publication of Baltasar and Blimunda. A huge body of work followed, translated into more than forty languages, and in 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Saramago died in June 2010.