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  • Published: 1 August 2002
  • ISBN: 9781860467226
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99

The History of the Siege of Lisbon




A proofreader tinkering with a historical text opens up a world of ambiguity and invention

What happens when the facts of history are replaced by the mysteries of love?

When Raimundo Silva, a lowly proofreader for a Lisbon publishing house, inserts a negative into a sentence of a historical text, he alters the whole course of the 1147 Siege of Lisbon. Fearing censure he is met instead with admiration: Dr Maria Sara, his voluptuous new editor, encourages him to pen his own alternative history. As his retelling draws on all his imaginative powers, Silva finds - to his nervous delight - that if the facts of the past can be rewritten as a romance then so can the details of his own dusty bachelor present.

  • Published: 1 August 2002
  • ISBN: 9781860467226
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

José 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.

Also by José Saramago

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Praise for The History of the Siege of Lisbon

Marvellous, seriously witty, erotic and edgily surreal

Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Sunday Times

Saramago is one of Europe's most original and remarkable writers...his writing is imbued with the spirit of comic enquiry, meditative pessimism and a quietly transforming energy that turns the indefinite into the unforgettable

Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times

This cryptic, ingenious novel...is never dull or humourless... No candidate for [the Nobel Prize] has a better claim to lasting recognition than this novelist who was born in 1922 but was in his mid-50s before he started to publish the fiction that has won him an international reputation

Edmund White, New York Times

A book filled with lyrical and intellectual rewards

Bill Marx, Boston Globe

This hypnotic tale is a great comic romp through history, language and the imagination

Publishers Weekly

Saramago is an extraordinarily talented artist, the type of playwright, novelist, essayist and occasional poet irresistible to lovers of literature

Ilan Stavans, Nation

Sensuous, teasing and mesmeric

Sydney Morning Herald

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