Nobel prize winner Jos Saramago has cancelled his scheduled appearance at the Rome Festival delle Letterature on 22 June due to serious and unforeseen personal problems. The Portuguese author was due to close the fifth edition of the literature festival, which this year has seen over a dozen writers from across the globe read from their works in the Basilica di Massenzio in Via dei Fori Imperiali. Elisabetta Rasy and Zadie Smith will perform as planned on 20 June, but American writer Gore Vidal will now end the festival on 21 June. Free tickets for the readings, which begin at 21.00, must be picked up from 19.00 on the day of the performance. For more information tel. 0639967850 or see www.festivaldelleletterature.com.