Front Cover
Harcourt Brace & Company, 1999 - Fiction - 327 pages
88 Reviews
A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers-among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears-through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century, Blindness has swept the reading public with its powerful portrayal of man's worst appetites and weaknesses-and man's ultimately exhilarating spirit. The stunningly powerful novel of man's will to survive against all odds, by the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Blindness (Blindness #1)

User Review  - James - Goodreads

I have never been so glad to finish a book (maybe I have, but I don't remember when). I've also never been so upset with my compulsion to finish a book I've started. If you're young and have never ... Read full review

Review: Blindness (Blindness #1)

User Review  - Rakhi Dalal - Goodreads

I read somewhere that this work of Saramogo, when published, was compared to Camus' The Plague by many critics. Perhaps it is owing to the portrayal of a city facing an endemic in both works. On this ... Read full review

All 7 reviews »

Other editions - View all

References to this book

The Banality of Denial
Yair Auron
Limited preview - 2003

Full view
All Book Search results »

About the author (1999)

Josť Saramago was born on November 16, 1922. He spent most of his childhood on his parent's farm, except while attending school in Lisbon. Before devoting himself exclusively to writing novels in 1976, he worked as a draftsman, a publisher's reader, an editor, translator, and political commentator for Diario de Lisboa. He is indisputably Portugal's best-known literary figure and his books have been translated into more than 25 languages. Although he wrote his first novel in 1947, he waited some 35 years before winning critical acclaim for work such as the Memorial do Convento. His works include The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, The Stone Raft, Baltasar and Blimunda, The History of the Siege of Lisbon, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, and Blindness. At age 75, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998 for his work in which "parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony, continually enables us to apprehend an elusory reality." He died from a prolonged illness that caused multiple organ failure on June 18, 2010 at the age of 87.

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.

Bibliographic information