Jose de Sousa Saramago, (November 1922 - June 2010), was a Portuguese writer and recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature. His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the theopoetic human factor. More than two million copies of Saramago's books have been sold in Portugal alone and his work has been translated into 25 languages. He was a founding member of the National Front for the Defense of Culture in Lisbon in 1992, and co-founder with Orhan Pamuk, of the European Writers' Parliament (EWP). Nick Caistor is an award-winning translator of more than fifty works from Spanish and Portuguese. He has also published short biographies of Octavio Paz, Fidel Castro and Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, as well as cultural histories of Buenos Aires and Mexico City. His daughter, Lucia Caistor, is a social researcher focusing on cities and how people experience them. She lives between London and Lisbon, and has translated several works from Argentina, Brazil, and Portugal. Jose Francisco Borges (Bezerros, Brazil, 1935) is one of the greatest popular artists of Brazil, and a key figure in the tradition of string (loose sheets with texts and images that tell stories). In 1964 he published his first work in the genre- O encontro de dois vaqueiros no Sert o de Petronila, which would be followed by more than two hundred cords to present. His work has been the subject of exhibitions in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico and Venezuela. He currently resides in his hometown, where he teaches the art of wood engraving (xilogravura) to his family.
This memorable fable about the arrival of a giant, fork-tongued but seemingly harmless lizard artfully combines the mythmaking sensibilities of the Portuguese Nobel laureate Saramago and the Brazilian artist Borges. The mysterious lizard shows up in an ordinary town, and 'panic filled the air.' As forces gather to attack it, the creature is transformed into a rose, possibly by fairies. The winsome language and striking woodcut art in bold colors and lots of black capture the ominous rush to judgment and the sweet possibility of wonderment. --Maria Russo, New York Times Book Review
Borges contributes bold, rustic woodcuts that leave plenty of room for symbolic interpretations. ... A pensive, allegorical fairy tale for readers ready to sit with perplexity. --Kirkus Reviews Ably translated by the Caistors, this surreal fable by Nobel Prize-winner Saramago imagines a monstrously outsize military response to the appearance of a lizard. ... the fable serves as a reminder that in toxic political situations, nothing--not even a fairy lizard--is safe. Ages 6-9. --Publishers Weekly