All the Names

All the Names

Paperback

By (author) Jose Saramago, Translated by Margaret Jull Costa

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  • Publisher: The Harvill Press
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 28mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 1 June 2000
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1860467202
  • ISBN 13: 9781860467202
  • Sales rank: 83,493

Product description

Among the file-cards for the living and the dead, one - of an apparently ordinary woman - will transform his life. By day Senhor Jose labours in the labyrinthine stacks of the city's central registry. By night he ferrets for facts about the famous, compiling his own archive of births, deaths and marriages. One day he chances upon an index card of an ordinary woman whose details hold as much fascination for him as any celebrity's. Striking forth from the regimentation of his daily life, Jose starts to track the woman down, obsessively following a thread of clues in a bid to rescue her from an oblivion deeper than the grave.

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Author information

Born in Portugal in 1922, Jose Saramago was one of the most important writers of his generation. He was in his fifties when he came to prominence as a novelist 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, including Blindness which was made into an acclaimed film. He has been translated into more than forty languages, and in 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died on 18 June 2010, shortly after the Portuguese publication of Cain.

Review quote

"A tantalizing novel...shifting and teasing, full of metaphorical labyrinths and false trails" Herald "Offers an unearthly, muted beauty; a freedom from the obvious, the ideological and trivial; an atmosphere of profound serenity, and a benevolent humor" Literary Review "It is the marriage of the living and the dying...that so strongly characterizes the writing of Jose Saramago" New Statesman "The Swedish Academy's citation called his novels "parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony." It is a description which perfectly captures his latest novel" The Times "Both delightful and unsettling which is perhaps the mark of true literature" -- Anthony Daniels Sunday Telegraph

Editorial reviews

The international importance of Portugal's most famous author was recognized in 1988 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. This novel is one of his finest, exploring identity and the abuse of bureaucratic power with a sly, black humour. Set in the labyrinthine world of the central registry of births, marriages and deaths it follows a twisting Ariadne's thread that reaches from lowly clerk to an anonymous woman whose card he accidently draws. Developing an obsession to establish her identity he set out to investigate her life. The link between them, however, is more complex and dangerous than he suspects. (Kirkus UK)