The Jerusalem Prize

2005 - António Lobo Antunes

Born: 1 September 1942, Lisbon, Portugal

Author's quote: "It's funny - my wife is more jealous of my books than of other women because I'm always working and thinking about my books."

Field: Fiction

Prize share: 1/1

Books Written By António Lobo Antunes

About António Lobo Antunes

António Lobo Antunes was born in Lisbon, Portugal, as the eldest of six sons of João Alfredo de Figueiredo Lobo Antunes. His father was a prominent Neurologist and professor.

At the age of seven, António Lobo Antunes decided to be a writer, but when he was 16, his father sent him to the medical school of the University of Lisbon. He graduated as a medical doctor, later specializing in psychiatry. During this time he never stopped writing.

By the end of his education, Lobo Antunes had to serve with the Portuguese Army to take part in the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974). In a military hospital in Angola he became interested in the subjects of death and "the other."

Lobo Antunes came back from Africa in 1973. The Angolan war for independence was the subject of many of his novels. He worked many months in Germany and Belgium.

In 1979, Lobo Antunes published his first novel, Memória de Elefante (Elephant's Memory), in which he told the story of his separation. Due to the success of his first novel, Lobo Antunes decided to devote his evenings to writing. He has been practicing psychiatry as well, mainly at the outpatients' unit at the Hospital Miguel Bombarda of Lisbon.

His style is considered to be very dense, heavily influenced by William Faulkner and Louis-Ferdinand Céline, and his books are also very large in size. He was granted the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint James of the Sword.


The Natural Order Of Things - António Lobo Antunes

By Midwest Book Review

In The Natural Order Of Things, Antonio Lobo Antunes tells the story of two families and the secrets that inextricably bind them. The finely tuned, vividly articulate voices and memories of his characters present a dreamlike reality that resonates in the mind and imagination of the reader: an army officer tortured in prison on charges of conspiracy; an elderly man, once a miner in Mozambique, now reduced to dreams of "flying underground"; a diabetic teenage girl and the middle-aged husband she despises. These and other elements combine to create a portrait of a disintegrating society and the history of Portugal as a family history. The Natural Order Of Things is ably translated from the Portuguese by Richard Zenith.


The Natural Order Of Things - António Lobo Antunes

By Liselott Johnsson

His prose is creative and evocative. The convoluted story is rich in vivid metaphors and the images created are extraordinary. At times, he soars.