The Notebook

The Notebook

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A lyrical and thought-provoking record of the last year in the life of the Nobel Prize–winning novelist

Thought-provoking and lyrical, The Notebook records the last year in the life of José Saramago. In these pages, beginning on the eve of the 2008 US presidential election, he evokes life in his beloved city of Lisbon, revisits conversations with friends, and meditates on his favorite authors. Precise observations and moments of arresting significance are rendered with pointillist detail, and together demonstrate an acute understanding of our times. Characteristically critical and uncompromising, Saramago dissects the financial crisis, deplores Israel’s punishment of Gaza, and reflects on the rise of Barack Obama. The Notebook is a unique journey into the personal and political world of one of the greatest writers of our time.


  • Fascinating and smart and provocative, and a lot of fun to dip into.

    The New York Times
  • In readably provocative style, with offbeat riffs on his life and writing, on ideas and histories ... This is a bittersweet delight.

    Boyd TonkinThe Independent
  • Saramago is one of Europe’s most original and remarkable writers ... His writing is imbued with a spirit of comic inquiry, meditative pessimism and a quietly transforming energy that turns the indefinite into the unforgettable.

    Richard EderLos Angeles Times