José Saramago
Harcourt, New York, 1998, 1997, English; originally published 1995 in Portuguese
ISBN: 9780151002511

From the Publisher. A city is hit by an epidemic of “white blindness” that 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 and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the 20th century, Blindness is a powerful portrayal of man’s worst appetites and weaknesses—and man’s ultimately exhilarating spirit. By the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature.

On 2 book lists
Paul Marantz

Lest we forget the gift of sight.

Cleto Munari

In this novel Saramago imagines a near-total breakdown of society following an outbreak of mass blindness in which systems of law and order, social services, government, and schools no longer function. Families have been separated and roving bands of people squat in abandoned buildings. Violence, disease, and despair threaten to overwhelm humans’ ability to cope. They attempt to create homes and establish a new order. We all hope that blindness disappears from our society.

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