SKYLIGHT

Jos Saramago & Margaret Costa

A previously unpublished novel by a literary master, Skylight tells the intertwined stories of the residents of a faded apartment building in 1940s Lisbon.

Silvestre and Mariana, a happily married elderly couple, take in a young nomad, Abel, and soon discover their many differences. Adriana loves Beethoven more than any man, but her budding sexuality brings new feelings to the surface. Carmen left Galicia to marry humble Emilio, but hates Lisbon and longs for her first love, Manolo. Lidia used to work the streets, but now she’s kept by Paulo, a wealthy man with a wandering eye.

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A previously unpublished novel by a literary master, Skylight tells the intertwined stories of the residents of a faded apartment building in 1940s Lisbon.

Silvestre and Mariana, a happily married elderly couple, take in a young nomad, Abel, and soon discover their many differences. Adriana loves Beethoven more than any man, but her budding sexuality brings new feelings to the surface. Carmen left Galicia to marry humble Emilio, but hates Lisbon and longs for her first love, Manolo. Lidia used to work the streets, but now she’s kept by Paulo, a wealthy man with a wandering eye.

These are just some of the characters in this early work, completed by Saramago in 1953 but never published until now. With his characteristic compassion, depth, and wit, Saramago shows us the quiet contentment of a happy family and the infectious poison of an unhappy one. We see his characters’ most intimate moments as well as the casual encounters particular to neighbors living in close proximity. Skylight is a portrait of ordinary people, painted by a master of the quotidian, a great observer of the immense beauty and profound hardships of the modern world.

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  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Hardcover
  • December 2014
  • 320 Pages
  • 9780544090026

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$26.00

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About Jos Saramago & Margaret Costa

José Saramago (1922–2010) was the author of many novels, among them Blindness, All the Names, Baltasar and Blimunda, and The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Margaret Costa has established herself as the premier translator of Portuguese literature into English today.

Praise

“It is a work about the strictures of poverty and domesticity but also about momentary glimpses of beauty and fulfillment, and as such, it is immediately recognizable as Saramago, even though his political emphases, and his syntax, would evolve over the years. It will be bittersweet delight for Saramago fans, as this selection may well be his final published work.Booklist, starred review

Saramago’s novel is a delightful creation of characters with universal appeal. Readers will want to explore his other works after reading this gem.Library Journal, starred review

Rarely has a novel with a publication delayed as long as this one's proven such a pleasure…an early sign of considerable promise and spirited storytelling.”—Kirkus