Children from Europe, Africa and America read Saramago for his centenary

This content was published on 16 November 2021 – 16:15

Lisbon, Nov 16 (EFE) .- Thousands of schoolchildren from Spain, Portugal, Brazil or Angola read texts from the story “The biggest flower in the world” in their schools today. With their voices began the celebrations of the centenary of the Portuguese Nobel Prize José Saramago, which will last until November 16, 2022, when it is 100 years since his birth.

It will be a year to “promote reading” by José Saramago, Carlos Reis, program curator, explained to Efe.

“We have managed to get thousands of children from Angola, Mozambique, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain or Brazil to read their texts,” Reis points out on the day that marks the 99th anniversary of Saramago’s birth.

The author of “Essay on Blindness”, born in the Portuguese town of Azinhaga do Ribatejo, died in 2010 on the Spanish island of Lanzarote, where today his texts have also been read in 29 schools.


Precisely in Azinhaga they remembered the Nobel today planting the olive tree number 99.

Although Saramago only lived there his first year and a half because his parents moved to Lisbon, he used to visit the town in summer.

The Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, also traveled there today to join the readings.

Costa did not want to miss the opportunity to praise the importance of culture and education from childhood and recommended that the students remember the message that Saramago includes at the end of the story: “Each one must do something greater than himself, and that is the extraordinary work schools do. “

Next year the hundredth olive tree will be planted in Azinhaga, in memory of the writer, according to the José Samarago Foundation.

This tree has a special symbolism when it comes to Saramago, whose ashes are deposited precisely under an olive tree from Azinhaga do Ribatejo and planted in Lisbon, in front of the Foundation’s headquarters that bears his name and a few meters from the Tagus.

In Lisbon today is also a special day. The day will end with a concert by the Metropolitan Orchestra in tribute to the writer and the reading of a manifesto in favor of the reading of the Spanish author Irene Vallejo (National Essay Award 2020).

In addition, the Saramago Foundation has organized a temporary exhibition and enables shipments with material from the thirteen panels of the sample so that interested schools and institutions can exhibit them during the centenary.


The centenary program will continue in 2022 with a cycle of “Nobel Conferences”, which will begin in January with the Argentine writer Alberto Manguel, based in Lisbon.

Already confirmed are the Ethiopian-American writer Maaza Mengiste, author of “The King of Shadows”, and the Colombian Juan Gabriel Vasquez.

Also starring in this cycle will be the 2018 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature, the Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk.

Dance, theater, performing arts and opera will be added to the acts of tribute to the author.

José Saramago (Azinhaga, 1922-Lanzarote 2010) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998 for an extensive work that includes titles such as “The year of the death of Ricardo Reis”, “The Gospel according to Jesus Christ” or “Essay on Blindness “. EFE

cgg / mar / pddp


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Children from Europe, Africa and America read Saramago for his centenary