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The Tale of the Unknown Island

Written by Jose Saramago

Illustrated by Peter Sis

The Tale of the Unknown Island Synopsis

A man went to knock at the king's door and said, Give me a boat. The king's house had many other doors, but this was the door for petitions. Since the king spent all his time sitting by the door for favours (favours being offered to the king, you understand), whenever he heard someone knocking on the door for petitions, he would pretend not to hear... Why the petitioner required a boat, where he was bound for, and who volunteered to crew for him and what cargo it was found to be carrying the reader will discover as this short narrative unfolds. And at the end it will be clear that what night appear to be a children's fable is in fact a wry, witty Philosophical Tale that would not have displeased Voltaire or Swift.

The Tale of the Unknown Island Press Reviews

Saramago writes possibly the most beautiful but certainly the most precise and differentiated Portuguese prose of our time -- Walter Haubrich * Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung * Saramago is a writer, like Faulkner, so confident of his resources and ultimate destination that he can bring any improbability to life -- John Updike No candidate for a Nobel Prize has a better claim to lasting recognition than this novelist -- Edmund White He was the equal of Philip Roth, Gunter Grass, Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo. His genius was remarkably versatile - he was at once a great comic and a writer of shocking earnestness and grim poignancy -- Harold Bloom Saramago is a writer of formidable talent and extraordinary imagination * La Repubblica *

Book Information

ISBN: 9781860466908
Publication date: 18th November 1999
Author: Jose Saramago
Illustrator: Peter Sis
Publisher: The Harvill Press an imprint of Vintage Publishing
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 48 pages

About Jose Saramago

Jose 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.

More About Jose Saramago

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