Antunes, António Lobo

Antunes, António Lobo,

1942–, Portuguese novelist. Trained as a physician, he was a field hospital doctor in Angola in the 1960s and later worked in a children's cancer hospital; both experiences shaped his work. He was a practicing psychiatrist until the late 1980s. His first two novels were published in 1979. Widely considered Portugal's greatest living novelist, he has tended to be overshadowed by José SaramagoSaramago, José
, 1922–2010, Portuguese novelist and short-story writer. He became a member of the Communist party in 1969 and was a staunch atheist and a strong opponent of globalization and the increasing power of multinational corporations.
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 in the international literary world, though in Portugal each has enthusiastic partisans. Writing of the Salazar regime's brutality, the horrors of the Angolan war, the corruption of Portuguese society, and the diminished state of Portugal compared with its once-great empire, Antunes has been called Portugal's national conscience, and is frequently compared to FaulknerFaulkner, William,
1897–1962, American novelist, b. New Albany, Miss., one of the great American writers of the 20th cent. Born into an old Southern family named Falkner, he changed the spelling of his last name to Faulkner when he published his first book, a collection of
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, JoyceJoyce, James,
1882–1941, Irish novelist. Perhaps the most influential and significant novelist of the 20th cent., Joyce was a master of the English language, exploiting all of its resources.
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, and ConradConrad, Joseph,
1857–1924, English novelist, b. Berdichev, Russia (now Berdychiv, Ukraine), originally named Jósef Teodor Konrad Walecz Korzeniowski. Born of Polish parents, he is considered one of the greatest novelists and prose stylists in English literature.
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. His prose is dense; his works are lengthy and wildly imaginative, bulging with details and strange or macabre fantasy. They often employ multiple points of view and a counterpoint of overlapping monologues, e.g., the soldiers of Fado Alexandrino (1983, tr. 1990) and the demimonde inhabitants of Que farei quando tudo arde? (2001, tr. What Can I Do When Everything's on Fire?, 2008). Among his other novels in English translation are the fictionalized memoir Cus de Judas (1979, tr. South of Nowhere, 1983, and The Land at the End of the World, 2011), Conhecimento do inferno (1980, tr. Knowledge of Hell, 2008), Naus (1988, tr. Return of the Caravels, 2002), and Manual dos inquisadores, (1996, tr. The Inquisitor's Manual, 2003). His essays and stories include those in Livro de crónicos (1999, tr. The Fat Man and Infinity, 2009).
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