José Saramago

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José de Sousa Saramago, GColSE (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒuˈzɛ sɐɾɐˈmaɣu]; (16 November 1922 – 18 June 2010) was a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, poet, playwright and journalist. His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor. Harold Bloom has described Saramago as "a permanent part of the Western canon".[1]

Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998.[2] More than two million copies of his books have been sold and translated into 25 languages.[3][4] He founded the National Front for the Defence of Culture (Lisbon, 1992) with Freitas-Magalhães and others. In 1992, the Portuguese government, under Prime Minister Aníbal Cavaco Silva, ordered the removal of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ from the European Literary Prize's shortlist, claiming the work was religiously offensive. Saramago complained of censorship[5] and moved to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Spain, where he resided until his death.[6][7]

A proponent of libertarian communism,[8] Saramago came into conflict with some groups, such as the Catholic Church. Saramago was an atheist who defended love as an instrument to improve the human condition.

He was married to Spanish journalist Pilar del Rio, and had a daughter from a previous marriage.[7]


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