The Cave by Jose Saramago
Cipriano Algor, an ageing potter, lives with his daughter in the shadow of the Centre, a nebulous megaplex that provides his livelihood - until it haughtily decrees it is no longer interested in his humble wares. In despair, he goes to visit his wife's grave, encountering there a widowed neighbour, Isaura. But his daughter is not ready to give up on him yet. Together, hopefully, father and daughter craft a new line of small ceramic figurines; to their astonishment, the Centre orders vast quantities. But once the figures are complete, the Centre backtracks: there is no market for them. Defeated once again, he returns to his village, where Isaura awaits him.