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The Book of Disquiet

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Translator: Margaret Jull Costa
Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Pages: 432
Subject: Fiction, Serpent's Tail Classics, World Literature

The Book of Disquiet

The Complete Edition

Fernando Pessoa

The definitive edition of the much-loved classic

Hardback(Preorder only)
9781781255698 (Published 17 Aug 2017)

About the book

The Book of Disquiet is one of the great literary works of the twentieth century. Written over the course of Fernando Pessoa's life, it was first published in 1982, pieced together from the thousands of individual manuscript pages left behind by Pessoa after his death in 1935. Now this fragmentary modernist masterpiece appears in a major new edition that unites Margaret Jull Costa's celebrated translation with the most complete version of the text ever produced. It is presented here, for the first time in English, by order of original composition, and accompanied by facsimiles of the original manuscript.Narrated principally by an assistant bookkeeper named Bernardo Soares - an alias of sorts for Pessoa himself - The Book of Disquiet is 'the autobiobraphy of someone who never existed', a mosaic of dreams, of hope and despair; a hymn to the streets and cafés of 1930s Lisbon, and an extraordinary record of the inner life of one of the century's most important writers. This new edition represents the most complete vision of Pessoa's genius.

About the author

Fernando Pessoa was born in Lisbon in 1888. He grew up in Durban, South Africa, where his stepfather was Portuguese consul. He returned to Lisbon in 1905 and worked as a clerk in an import-export company until his death in 1935. Most of Pessoa's writing was not published during his lifetime; The Book of Disquiet first came out in Portugal in 1982. Since its first publication, it has been hailed as a classic. The new edition was edited by Jerónimo Pizarro and translated by Margaret Jull Costa.


The very book to read when you wake at 3am and can't get back to sleep - mysteries, misgivings, fears and dreams and wonderment. Like nothing else.

- Philip Pullman

In a time which celebrates fame, success, stupidity, convenience and noise, here is the perfect antidote

- John Lanchester, Daily Telegraph

A complete masterpiece, the sort of book one makes friends with and cannot bear to be parted with. Boredom informs it, but not boringly. Pessoa loved the minutiae of what we care to deem the ordinary life, and that love enriches and deepens his art

- Paul Bailey, Independent

A meandering, melancholic series of reveries and meditations ... beguiling and mysterious

- William Boyd

Disturbs from beginning to end... There is a distinguished mind at work beneath the totally acceptable dullness of clerking. The mind is that of Pessoa. We must be given the chance to learn more about him

- Anthony Burgess, Observer

Additional Information

Translator: Margaret Jull Costa
Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Pages: 432
Subject: Fiction, Serpent's Tail Classics, World Literature

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