Outspoken Portuguese novelist Jose Saramago, the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998, has given up the blog which he launched a year ago at the age of 85 to concentrate on his new book.
“It has always been convenient that goodbyes be brief…Goodbye therefore. Until another day? I sincerely don’t think so. I have started another book and want to dedicate all my time to it,” he wrote in his final blog entry.
The author of “Blindness” and “The Cave”, who lives in a clifftop house in Lanzarote on Spain’s Canary Islands launched the blog on in September 2008 with a “love letter” to Lisbon.
He updated it regularly with lengthy entries in both Spanish and Portuguese on topics ranging from poverty in Africa to opposition to health care reform in the United States that have been published as a book in Portugal.
In Saramago’s latest novel “Cain”, which will be published later this year, the author absolves the Biblical figure of the same name for the murder of his younger brother Abel and puts the blame instead on God.
Saramago left Portugal in the early 1990s after the conservative government in power at the time refused to allow his controversial novel “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ” to compete for a European literary prize.