The denizens of a rundown building in 1940s Lisbon come to sparkling life in this lost early novel by the Nobel Prize-winning author of Blindness.
The renowned Portuguese author Jose Saramago was at the beginning of his career when he submitted his novel Skylight for publication in 1953. It then sat lost among stacks of manuscripts for thirty-six years. Published posthumously according to Saramago’s wishes, the world can finally enjoy this “fascinating and startlingly mature work” set in 1940’s Lisbon (Boston Globe).
The inhabitants of a faded apartment building are struggling to make ends meet: Silvio the cobbler and his wife take in a disaffected young lodger; Dona Lídia, a retired prostitute, is kept by a businessman with a roving eye. Humble salesman Emilio’s Spanish wife is in a permanent rage; beautiful Claudinha’s boss lusts for her; Justina and her womanizer husband live at war with each other.
Happy marriages, abusive relationships, jealousy, gossip, love—Skylight is a portrait of ordinary people painted by the master of the quotidian, a great observer of the immense beauty and profound hardship of the modern world.
“There is no shortage of wonders to be found in [Skylight].” —Washington Post