José Saramago translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa
On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This of course causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration—flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home—families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots.

Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets, and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small d, became human and were to fall in love?
Photo Credit: José Frade

"Decidedly ingenious...Saramago, one of the last of the old-line Communists, has written an atheist's religious parable; a story abounding in sentiment and purged of it."
New York Times

"Seamlessly translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa, Saramago's novel is equal parts whimsical allegory and scholarly dissertation on the meaning of life in the absence of death...This book is full of intelligence, rolled out with critical thought, a masked droll wit and the practiced art of spinning story."
San Francisco Chronicle

"[DEATH WITH INTERRUPTIONS] gives Jose Saramago the opportunity to turn his brilliant light on a number of social institutions ripe for satire...For Saramago, in this extraordinary mode in which ideas become flesh, nothing seems impossible, not even Death giving up her dominion."
Chicago Tribune

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