José Saramago was born on November 16, 1922, in Azinhaga, Portugal. He began working in publishing and became a journalist and translator. He joined the Portuguese Communist Party in 1969, published several volumes of poems, and was editor of a newspaper from 1974 to 1975. In his 50s, Saramago began writing the novels that would eventually establish his international reputation. He died on June 18, 2010, in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain.
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