Josť Saramago Small Memories

ISBN 13: 9780151015085

Small Memories

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José Saramago was eighteen months old when he moved from the village of Azinhaga with his father and mother to live in Lisbon. But he would return to the village throughout his childhood and adolescence to stay with his maternal grandparents, illiterate peasants in the eyes of the outside world, but a fount of knowledge, affection, and authority to young José. 

Shifting back and forth between childhood and his teenage years, between Azinhaga and Lisbon, this is a mosaic of memories, a simply told, affecting look back into the author’s boyhood: the tragic death of his older brother at the age of four; his mother pawning the family’s blankets every spring and buying them back in time for winter; his beloved grandparents bringing the weaker piglets into their bed on cold nights; and Saramago’s early encounters with literature, from teaching himself to read by deciphering articles in the daily newspaper, to poring over an entertaining dialogue in a Portuguese-French conversation guide, not realizing that he was in fact reading a play by Molière. 

Written with Saramago’s characteristic wit and honesty, Small Memories traces the formation of an artist fascinated by words and stories from an early age and who emerged, against all odds, as one of the world’s most respected writers.

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Book Description:

HMH Hardcover, 2010Previous ISBN: 978-0-151-01508-5

From the Inside Flap:

"[Saramago] lets the narrative roll along in verbal splendor and poignant intimacy." — Booklist

José Saramago was eighteen months old when his family left the village of Azinhaga for Lisbon. He would return to the village throughout his childhood and adolescence to spend time with his maternal grandparents, illiterate peasants in the eyes of the outside world, but a fount of knowledge, affection, and authority to young José.

Shifting back and forth between childhood and his teenage years, between Azinhaga and Lisbon, this is a simply told, affecting look into the author’s boyhood: the tragic death of his older brother at the age of four; his mother pawning the family’s blankets every spring and buying them back in time for winter; his beloved grandparents bringing the weaker piglets into their bed on cold nights; and Saramago’s early encounters with the written word, from learning to read by deciphering articles in the daily newspaper, to poring over an entertaining dialogue in a Portuguese- French conversation guide, not realizing that he was in fact reading a play by Molière.

Small Memories traces the formation of a man and an artist who emerged, against all the odds, as one of the world’s most respected writers.

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