The Instituto Camões in Toronto presents a book by José Saramago: Blindness – Ensaio sobre a Cegueira

The Instituto Camões in Toronto, along with EUNIC, the network of the European cultural institutes of Toronto formed by Alliance Française, British Council, Goethe-Institut Toronto, Italian Cultural Institute, and Instituto Camões, invites you to their book club meeting for the presentation and discussion of Blindness (Ensaio sobre a Cegueira) by José Saramago, led by Dr. Maria João Dodman.
The European Book Club meets periodically in a different cultural institute to discuss a European contemporary book translated into English.
Blindness is a story of the trials and tribulations that result when an unexplained epidemic of blindness hits an unnamed city. Social order is quickly lost and the novel follows the lives of a handful of characters who meet by chance and must stick together in order to survive, led by one of the few individuals unaffected by the plague. Characters must rely on each other and work together as the government inefficiently tries to govern and maintain control through repressive and inept measures. The novel ends with sight suddenly being regained and characters gaining new insight on humanity and themselves.

José Saramago (16 November 1922 – 18 June 2010) was a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, poet, playwright and journalist. His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events. Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998. More than two million copies of his books have been sold in Portugal alone and his work has been translated into 25 languages. Blindness was adapted into a film in 2007 and opened in the Cannes Film Festival in 2008.

Dr. Maria João Dodman is an Assistant Professor at York University’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics. She is a native of the Azores, Portugal, and she has lived in Canada since 1989. She has taught Spanish and Portuguese language and literature in several Ontario institutions before coming to York University where she is an Assistant Professor since 2008.


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