The Book of Disquiet

The Book of Disquiet


Pessoa writes an autobiography without incident or action. This masterful exploration of our attempts at understanding death, longing, and the uncanny is one for the ages. Zenith is a preeminent Pessoa scholar and his arrangement is an excellent complement to New Directions’ recently released Complete Book of Disquiet. —Jeff

The prizewinning, complete and unabridged translation--"the best English-language version we are likely to see for a long time, if ever" (The Guardian)--of a work of unclassifiable genius: the crowning achievement of Portugal's modern master

Winner of the Calouste Gulbenkian Translation Prize for Portuguese Translation

A Penguin Classic

Fernando Pessoa was many writers in one. He attributed his prolific writings to a wide range of alternate selves, each of which had a distinct biography, ideology, and horoscope. When he died in 1935, Pessoa left behind a trunk filled with unfinished and unpublished writings, among which were the remarkable pages that make up his posthumous masterpiece, The Book of Disquiet, an astonishing work that, in George Steiner's words, "gives to Lisbon the haunting spell of Joyce's Dublin or Kafka's Prague."

Published for the first time some fifty years after his death, this unique collection of short, aphoristic paragraphs comprises the "autobiography" of Bernardo Soares, one of Pessoa's alternate selves. Part intimate diary, part prose poetry, part descriptive narrative, captivatingly translated by Richard Zenith, The Book of Disquiet is one of the greatest works of the twentieth century.

"Pessoa is a genius." --André Aciman

Publication Date: 
December 20, 2002