It was back in February when the manuscript was found and only today that there has been the announcement. Pilar del Rio, president of the José Saramago Foundation (and his widow) together with Manuel Alberto Valente, the director of Porto have made it official that the last words by José Saramago will be published soon.
October 6 is the scheduled release date for the final installment of Cadernos de Lanzarote (Lanzarote Diaries), which has been heavily anticipated from its writer, who died in 2010. But it never came out, and was almost forgotten, especially after the Nobel Prize, which caught him by surprise in 1998.
Born in a small village in the Ribatejo province, northeast of Lisbon, Saramago worked as a translator and journalist, and reached the height of success when he was in his sixties. He went on voluntary exile in Lanzarote, where he started to write Cadernos de Lanzarote in 1994 and there spent the last years of his life.
It seems he wanted these unpublished writings edited in 2001; the book deals with the personal reactions from the author before the award, as well as the moments he lived and the trip to Stockholm to get Nobel.
Saramago represents the first and sole (until now) Nobel Prize won by a Portuguese writer and this Último Caderno de Lanzarote might be the opportunity to discover and appreciate this artist.
The manuscript had been discovered and kept secret during these past 4 months, and according to Pilar del Río, curator of Saramago’s legacy today, it was a great surprise. “There was a folder on your computer with Cadernos de Lanzarote that had never been opened (…) the file he came across the original of Cadernos 1 to 5 but also with two more: 6th and 7th.”
The interesting fact is that it’s not the first time. There was another lost novel titled Claraboia (Skylight), which came out by chance. It was kept in his archive since 1950 and was published only in 2011.