Sunday, June 20, 2010


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LISBON, Portugal (UPI) -- Portugal announced two days of mourning this week for controversial novelist Jose Saramago, winner of the Nobel Prize, who died June 18 at the age of 87.

Saramago's body was brought to Lisbon from his home in the Canary Islands Saturday by an air force plane and was escorted by his widow and the Portuguese cultural minister, reported.

Saramago received the Nobel in 1998 for a body of work that included the incendiary novel "The Gospel According to Jesus Christ," and "Blindness," which was turned into a 2008 film by the same name.

The Washington Post said Sunday that Saramago was noted for his surrealistic stories and a dense writing style that had single sentences taking up an entire page.

His 1991 book "The Gospel According to Jesus Christ" irked the Catholic Church with its depiction of Jesus having sex with Mary Magdalen and its portrayal of God as a manipulator.

At the same time, his 1984 work "The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis" had critics comparing his depiction of Lisbon in the 1930s with James Joyce's Dublin and Franz Kafka's Prague, according to the Post.

Saramago was cremated Saturday and his ashes will be spread at his home in the Canary Island and the Portuguese farm village of Azinhaga where he was born in 1922.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

This news arrived on: 06/20/2010

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