The Lives of Things collects Jose Saramago's early experiments with the short story form, attesting to the young novelist's imaginative power and incomparable skill in elaborating the most extravagant fantasies. Combining bitter satire, outrageous parody and Kafkaesque hallucinations, these stories explore the horror and repression that paralyzed Portugal during the harsh regime of Salazar and pay tribute to human resilience in the face of injustice and institutionalized tyranny. Beautifully written and deeply unsettling, The Lives of Things illuminates the development of Saramago's prose and records the genesis of those themes that resound throughout his novels.
The Portuguese Nobel Laureate JOSE SARAMAGO (1922 - 2010) was a novelist, playwright and journalist. His numerous books, including the bestselling All the Names, Blindness, and The Cave, established him as one of the world's most influential writers. He died in June 2010. GIOVANNI PONTIERO (1932 - 1996) was the ablest translator of twentieth century literature in Portuguese and one of its most ardent advocates. He was the principal translator into English of the works of Jose Saramago and was awarded the Teixeira-Gomes Prize for his translation of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.