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Raised from the ground - Jos Saramago

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Raised from the ground
Jos Saramago
Harvill Secker
UK Publication Date

First published in 1980, Saramago's prizewinning novel Raised from the Ground follows the changing fortunes of the Mau-Tempo family - poor, landless peasants not unlike the author's own grandparents. Set in Alentejo, a southern province of Portugal known for its vast agricultural estates, Saramago charts the lives of the Mau-Tempos as national and international events rumble on in the background - the coming of the republic in Portugal, the First and Second World Wars, and an attempt on the dictator Salazar's life. Yet, nothing really impinges on the grim reality of the farm labourers' lives until the first communist stirrings.

Finally published for the first time in English, Raised from the Ground is highly political yet full of Saramago's characteristic humour and humanity, and his most autobiographical and deeply personal novel. As full of love as it is of pain, it is a vivid, moving tribute to the men and women among whom Saramago lived as a child, and a fascinating insight into the early work of this literary giant.

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Jos Saramago is one of the most important international writers of the last hundred years. Born in Portugal in 1922 in the small rural village of Azinhaga, he was in his fifties when he came to prominence as a writer with the publication of Baltasar & Blimunda. A huge body of work followed, which included plays, poetry, short stories, non-fiction and over a dozen novels, translated into more than forty languages, and in 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died in June 2010.

"Time now gives us English-speakers the chance to see how well he worked to serve and deserve such greatness in this early novel"
Guardian - Ursula K Le Guin

"Here Saramago has begun to develop a unique voice which swoops and dives on his own work like a bird (and which is captured with all the skill of a ventriloquist in Margaret Jull Costa's excellent translation)"
Times Literary Supplement - Nick Caistor

"By Saramago's own reckoning it was the book in which he found and developed his style. a novel that resounds with relevance for our own time"
Scotsman - Steven Heighton

"This is a rich novel about a family of landless agricultural workers struggling over four generations. Readers of Jos Saramago will not be surprised at this original combination of serious denunciation of injustice with sarcasm and humour. Such an allusive novel, with its own orthodoxy in punctuation and subtle shifts of tone, is especially hard to translate. It reads beautifully well"
Independent - Michael Eaude

"A torrent of storytelling delivered with a lively, humorous immediacy, where his narrative drive and digressive thoughts flow unimpeded by conventional punctuation restraints"
Metro - Siobhan Murphy

Keyword Index
Alentejo (Portugal) - Social conditions - 20th century - Fiction.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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