- Jose Saramago
- Harcourt Brace, U.S.A. 1997
This is probably Jose Saramago’s most famous novel for at least two reasons. One, the English translation came out less than a year before he won the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature. Two, the 2008 film adaptation, which was the opener for that year’s Cannes Film Festival, has reignited interest in the book.
Saramago uses long, meandering sentences, no character names, and no quotation marks in the dialogue to great effect in this dystopic, stream of consciousness masterpiece.
This is probably the most typical style of advance review copy, with a black and white front cover featuring the same graphics as the first hardcover edition, reviews and publicity information on the back cover, and a standard copyright page.
Note that the copyright page has the original British publisher, The Harvill Press, listed. First edition is stated, and this publication also has a letter line instead of a number line. The A showing in the letter line indicates that this is a first edition, first printing.
The English language translation for this novel was done by both Giovanni Pontiero and Margaret Jull Costa. Pontiero, who had translated all of Saramago’s books up to Blindness, died before the translation could be completed. Margaret Jull Costa has been Saramago’s translator ever since.
Uncorrected proofs of this book are not that hard to find and are quite reasonably priced. Expect to pay much more for a signed copy, however, as Saramago’s autograph is extremely rare.
So, of course, what makes this copy extra special and much more valuable is the addition of this signed photograph. I wrote away to Saramago’s Portuguese publisher after reading Blindness, and they sent me this photograph. There actually is an advance review copy just like this one for sale today with a black and white signed photo and the price is $675. Copies signed directly on the title page go as high as $1600.