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  • Published: 1 December 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099520481
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $19.99

Small Memories

A delightful insight into the formation of an artist who would become one of the world's most respected writers.

Born in Portugal in 1922 in the tiny village of Azinhaga, José Saramago was only eighteen months old when he moved with his father and mother to live in a series of cramped lodgings in a working-class neighbourhood of Lisbon. Nevertheless, he would return to the village throughout his childhood and adolescence, its river landscape and olive groves seeping deep into his memory.

Shifting back and forth between Azinhaga and Lisbon, this touching book is a mosaic of memories, a gathering together of the fragmented recollections that make up the idea of one's youth. 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 the odds, as one of the world's most respected writers.

By the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

  • Published: 1 December 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099520481
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Jose Saramago

José Saramago is one of the most important international writers of the last hundred years. Born in Portugal in 1922, he was in his sixties when he came to prominence as a writer with the publication of Baltasar and Blimunda. A huge body of work followed, translated into more than forty languages, and in 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Saramago died in June 2010.

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Praise for Small Memories

The great thing about this memoir of boyhood is how unportentous it is for the most part

Michael Kerrigan, Scotsman

The lasting impression left by the self-portrait is of an abiding loneliness, nostalgia, and loss, leavened by humour and an unfeigned humility

Times Literary Supplement

A moving account of his childhood and adolescence...Small Memories will delight

Raymond Carr, The Spectator

The humiliations and joys of childhood, magnified by time, are delicately revisited

Angel Gurria-Quintana, Financial Times

A real insight into the making of a great writer


It's impossible not to be charmed by this fluid, spontaneous-seeming memoir of boyhood from the late Portuguese Nobel Laureate, Jose Saramago [...] For all its delightful novelty, however, the childhood described here is also beguilingly universal: the superstitions and terrors, the mysteries and joys

Daily Mail

A powerful and nostalgic memoir

The Times

The elliptical prose style that earned Saramago the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998 imbues these snapshots with a sense of time irrecoverably lost as the author, who died earlier this year, reprises the significant episodes of his youth. Any lack of drama will be of little consequence to admirers of Saramago, whose mostly rural vignettes reflect the emotional pitch of an illustrious literary career

Financial Times

The voice of Small Memories is so immediate, genial and full of simple affection for the boy he was, that reading it feels very much like sharing a fireside with a talkative uncle


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