Baltasar and Blimunda
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A first American edition of the first José Saramago book to be translated into English. This copy, with paperback covers, is embellished with the writer's signature on the title page: "José Saramago 1.2006." Memorial do Convento here takes its name from two of its protagonists, Baltasar and Blimunda. These two lovers act against notable historical characters, such as the composer Domenico Scarlatti and Father Bartolomeu Lourenço, who was trying to build a flying machine. Satire and criticism very much play a role. This is a masterpiece of world literature, written by the only Portuguese language winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in which he combines history and imagination, with 18th century Portugal serving as the backdrop. The Swedish Academy's justification for awarding the prize to the writer of Azinhaga in 1998 encounters its perfect image in Memorial do Convento: "with parables bearing imagination, compassion and irony, it constantly makes an elusive reality comprehensible".