Senhor José is a low-grade clerk in the city's Central
Registry, where the living and the dead share the same shelf space.
A middle-aged bachelor, he has no interest in anything beyond the
certificates of birth, marriage, divorce, and death that are his
daily routine. But one day, when he comes across the records of an
anonymous young woman, something happens to him. Obsessed, Senhor
José sets off to follow the thread that may lead him to the
woman-but as he gets closer, he discovers more about her, and about
himself, than he would ever have wished.
The loneliness of people's lives, the effects of chance, the
discovery of love-all coalesce in this extraordinary novel that
displays the power and art of José Saramago in brilliant