'Book Of Disquiet' Reveals A Reclusive Author's Soul Author Fernando Pessoa may have been a loner who lived most of his life in a single room in Lisbon, Portugal. But he wasn't alone: He created numerous literary alter egos. Rabih Alameddine describes Pessoa's work, The Book of Disquiet, as one of life's great miracles.
NPR logo

'Book Of Disquiet' Reveals A Reclusive Author's Soul

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/105106824/121914091" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
'Book Of Disquiet' Reveals A Reclusive Author's Soul

Review

'Book Of Disquiet' Reveals A Reclusive Author's Soul

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/105106824/121914091" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A: someone who reads the most international fiction of anyone I know. And his recommendation comes from Portugal.

M: Pessoa invented numerous alter egos. Arguably, the four greatest poets in the Portuguese language were all Fernando Pessoa using different names. He didn't stop there. Pessoa invented short story writers, translators, philosophers, an astrologer, a baron who committed suicide, and a hunchbacked, lovelorn woman by the name of Maria Jose - more than 72 creations, by some accounts.

: Pessoa might have died a recluse, but if you read his book, he'll be your good friend. He certainly is mine.

: That's writer Rabih Alameddine, author of "The Hakawati." He was recommending "The Book of Disquiet," by Fernando Pessoa.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.