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A “marvelously amusing” political fable in which part of the European continent breaks off and drifts away on its own (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
A Nobel Prize winner who has been called “the García Márquez of Portugal” (New Statesman) chronicles world events on a human scale in this exhilarating allegorical novel.
One day, quite inexplicably, the Iberian Peninsula simply breaks free from the European continent and begins to drift as if it were a sort of stone raft. Panic ensues as residents and tourists attempt to escape, while crowds gather on cliffs to watch the newly formed island sail off into the sea.
Meanwhile, five people on the island are drawn together—first by a string of surreal events and then by love. Taking to the road to explore the limits of their now finite land, they find themselves adrift in a world made new by this radical shift in perspective. As bureaucrats ponder what to do about their unusual predicament, the intertwined lives of these five strangers are clarified and forever changed by a physical, spiritual, and sexual voyage to an unknown destination.
At once an epic adventure and a profound fable about the state of the European project, The Stone Raft is a “hauntingly lyrical narrative with political, social, and moral underpinnings” (Booklist) that “may be Saramago’s finest work” (Los Angeles Times).
Translated from the Portuguese by Giovanni Pontiero