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José Saramago

The Elephant’s Journey

“The Portuguese Nobel Prize winner’s delightful posthumous novel recounts the [16th century] travels of an Indian elephant…from Lisbon to Vienna” (The New Yorker).In 1551, King João III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present: an elephant named Solomon. In The Elephant’s Journey, José Saramago imagines Solomon’s epic journey by foot across Europe with his Hindu keeper Subhro along for the adventure.
Accompanied by the Archduke, his new wife, and the royal guard, these unlikely heroes traverse a continent riven by the Reformation and civil wars. They are witnessed by scholars, historians, and wide-eyed ordinary people as they make their way through the storied cities of northern Italy, brave the Alps, cross the Mediterranean Sea, and at last, make their way toward their grand entry into the imperial city.
“A tale rich in irony and empathy, regularly interrupted by witty reflections on human nature and arch commentary on the powerful who insult human dignity.”—Los Angeles Times
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