The Lives of Things
Publication Date: April 2012
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Beautifully written and deeply unsettling, "The Lives of Things" illuminates the development of Saramago's prose and records the genesis of themes that resound throughout his novels.
Giovanni Pontiero (1932 1996) was the ablest translator of twentieth century literature in Portuguese and one of its most ardent advocates. He was the principal translator into English of the works of Jose Saramago and was awarded the Teixeira-Gomes Prize for his translation of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.
“A poetic encapsulation of Saramago’s extraordinary talent...Saramago’s stories have a renewed vibrancy in the current climate of doomsday scenarios, broken balance sheets and government debt. They remind us that when the law fails, a good metaphor can take its place.”—Michael Thomsen, Bookforum
“An intriguing coda to a fascinating career.”—Metro
“Easily bears comparison to Calvino and Borges, albeit with a more politically astute edge ... a welcome reminder of why he deserved the Nobel.”—Scotland on Sunday
“One of the giants of European literature ... For new readers, this collection is an essential introduction to Saramago’s concerns with social decay, alienation and political repression and the alternatives to them. For devotees, it is one to savour.”—Morning Star
“Here, the literary lion experiments with shorter, more inventive forms, and the results are lucid and impressive...Saramago’s considerable talent is clearly manifest.”—Publishers Weekly
“The Lives of Things is a wonderful artifact ... it is, like all his books, intoxicating reading...Moribund, absurd, flickering quickly between mirth and horror, these stories are filled with the master scribe’s sibylline ruminations on mortality and language, and a gentle, blossoming beauty.”—Fast Forward Weekly
“Saramago’s prose is richly colorful, descriptive and frequently verges on shocking without being excessive. It is easy to fall into the trap of reading the same paragraph over and over again, luxuriating in the gorgeous, strange yet precise word choice but without being stuck.”—Aleksandra Fazlipour, Three Percent