Baltasar and Blimunda | José Saramago
368 pages | Mariner Books
From José Saramago, Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Baltasar and Blimunda is a "brilliant...enchanting novel" (The New York Times Book Review) of romance, deceit, religion, and magic set in eighteenth-century Portugal at the height of the Inquisition.
Portugal, 1711: an amorous friar is pursued naked through the rubble-strewn streets of Lisbon; an enthusiastic procession of flagellants roars with pleasure over the damnation of adultery; a royal prince uses hapless sailors for target practice; and women dressed in colorful finery watch as lapsed converts and sorcerers are put to death by flames. In the midst of the terrors of the Inquisition and the plague, a seemingly mismatched couple discover the wonders of love. This poetic tale, graced with exquisite historical details and full of magic and adventure, is a tapestry of human folly and human will.