A Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture
Crossing his native land from northeast to southwest, the great novelist explores the villages and towns of Portugal and discovers what it is that binds him to his country and his people.
Climbing into his aged motor, José Saramago's trip across Portugal is a voyage of discovery about his own land. His attention to all he sees is meticulous, whether it be a cobweb-ridden chapel or a grand urban mansion, and each unlocks a thousand memories - of kings, warriors, painters, explorers, writers, saints and sinners. What unites his observations is Saramago's distinctive character as a travelling companion: whether genial after a glass of wine and a drive through misty mountains, or tetchy at being greeted in English by an Algarve hotelier, he is invariably delightful and stimulating company.
“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