Arabian Nights

«(...) "What a wonderful story," said Dinar-zade, "have you chosen!"
"The conclusion," observed Schehera-zade, "is still more surprising, as you would confess if the sultan would suffer me to live another day, and in the morning permit me to continue the relation."
Schah-riar, who had listened with much pleasure to the narration, determined to wait till to-morrow, intending to order her execution after she had finished her story. (...)»
Arabian Nights

19.4.12

Blindness

    Torres Vedras, Portugal
 Dear Mark,
I’m so sorry I haven’t written earlier, but I’ve been extremely busy and besides you’re not the punctual type either. This time I’m writing because of a very good book I’ve read, it’s called “Ensaio sobre a cegueira” (Blindness) and it was written by José Saramago.
Maybe you know who he was but anyway I’ll sum it up for you. He was born on November 16, 1922 in Azinhaga, Portugal and died on June 18, 2010 in Lanzarote, Spain. He founded the National Front for the Defense of Culture (Lisbon, 1992), in 1998 he won the Nobel Prize for literature, he wrote novels, plays and he participated in journalism as well.
This book is about an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness affecting nearly everyone in an unnamed city. Those first stricken were quarantined by the authorities in an abandoned mental hospital. A woman whose sight is unaffected by the plague follows her afflicted husband (ironically an ophthalmologist) to quarantine. There, keeping her sight a secret, she guides seven strangers who have become a kind of a family. She leads them out of quarantine and onto the ravaged streets of the city. The doctor's wife is  the only one with the ability to see in a town where everyone is struck by the sudden blindness (in the book they call it the “white blindness”). She struggles in order to take care of her husband and the others as the surrounding community breaks down into chaos and disorder.
I thought it was really intense and sometimes even scary and I know you like this sort of books so, there you go. I hope you’ll enjoy it and don’t forget to write back and tell me what it was like.

Take care,
Claudia Florea