Saramago is a Portuguese Nobel-laureate novelist, unknown to me before I read Blindness. I’m not sure what his writing style is like in the original Portuguese, but the translation has this simple, almost sparse, flow that only adds to the impact of his narrative.
The story is about a town that is stricken by a “white blindness”, with seemingly healthy people suddenly going blind. It spreads like an epidemic and the first wave of people are quarantined in an old mental hospital. I can’t say it’s the most uplifting book I’ve ever read, but Saramago has this incredible knack for making you feel contempt and empathy for people. Blindness is an intense commentary on the human condition that somehow left me feeling hopeful.
Highly recommended, fo’ sho. (Thanks for the recommendation, Lindsay!)