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From the Publisher
Manual of Painting and Calligraphy was José Saramago''s first novel. Written eight years before the critically acclaimed Baltasar and Blimunda, it is a story of self-discovery set against the background of the last years of Salazar''s dictatorship. A struggling young artist, commissioned to paint a portrait of an influential industrialist, learns in the process about himself and the world around him. The brilliant juxtaposition of a passionate love story and the crisis of a nation foreshadows all of Saramago''s major works. A must-have for any devotee of the great Portuguese Nobel laureate, Manual of Painting and Calligraphy is available in the United States for the first time.