An intense and surreal romance set against the politics of eighteenth-century Lisbon from Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago
In early eighteenth-century Lisbon, Baltasar, a soldier who has lost his left hand in battle, falls in love with Blimunda, a young girl with visionary powers. From the day that he follows her home from the auto-da-fe where her mother is burned at the stake, the two are bound body and soul by love of an unassailable strength. A third party shares their supper that evening: Padre Bartolomeu Lourenco, whose fantasy is to invent a flying machine. As the Crown and the Church clash, they purse his impossible, not to mention heretical, dream of flight.
“A mighty novel, variously bawdy, elevated, angry and tender, combining erudition, comedy, heresy, surreal science fiction and countless good stories.”
Robert Farren, Sunday Independent
“Original and brilliant...Lovers of Marquez and magical realism will be enchanted by the wonders of this novel, for the colour and vivacity of Saramago's imagination inspires and entertains.”
Kate Figes, Sunday Times
“Jose Saramago affirms the simple truths as only a writer of rare stature can.”
Christopher Wordsworth, Guardian