Author: Jose Saramago
Translator: Giovanni Pontiero
Publisher: Harvest Books (1999)
A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers—among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears—through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation, Blindness has swept the reading public with its powerful portrayal of our worst appetites and weaknesses—and humanity's ultimately exhilarating spirit.
“Saramago's surreal allegory explores the ability of the human spirit to prevail in even the most absurdly unjust of conditions, yet he reinvents this familiar struggle with the stylistic eccentricity of a master.”
–The New Yorker
"Symphonic . . . [There is] a clear-eyed and compassionate acknowledgment of things as they are, a quality that can only honestly be termed wisdom. We should be grateful when it is handed to us in such generous measure.”
–The New York Time Review of Books