José Saramago is one of the most well known Portuguese authors to date. José was born on November 16, 1922 in Azinhaga, Portugal. Saramago was not born into great wealth and had to work as a labourer for several years before landing a job at a publishing firm. At this time, he came to the realization that writing was his passion and wanted to carry on doing it professionally. A few years later, he went on to become the editor at a big newspaper publishing company in Lisbon . However, in 1969, José joined the Portuguese Communist Party which led him to lose his job after the regime of António Salazar was overthrown and an anti-communist group came into power .
The majority of Saramago’s fame came after he began writing novels while in his fifties. Memoir of the Covent is one of his most famous novels, gaining him recognition throughout Portugal. However, not everyone in Portugal enjoyed Saramago’s work, as they found it to be contracting against their beliefs. To better explain this, José Saramago wrote a piece called the Gospel According to Christ, which was deemed as offensive towards the Roman Catholic Church . The Church held some power in state affairs at the time and motioned to get Saramago’s book banned, or at the very least, have the undesirable parts removed . José was furious at this, so he moved away to the Canary Islands to live out his days with his wife and the freedom to write whatever he pleased.
In 1998 José Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the first ever-Portuguese writer to win . Winning the Nobel Prize was a very important moment for the Portuguese, where they realized how wrong it had been to censor such great work. Today, José Saramago is known worldwide and is a symbol of empowerment and perseverance for all aspiring Portuguese writers.
 Jose Saramago | Portuguese author. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2016, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jose-Saramago