Two brothers, Takashi and Mitsu, return from Tokyo to the village of their childhood. Selling their family home leads them to an inescapable confrontation with their family history. Their attempt to escape the influence of the city ends in failure as they realize that its tentacles extend to everything in the countryside, including their own relationship. In 1994, Kenzaburo Oe was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Singling out The Silent Cry, the Nobel Committee stated that 'his poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament'. Kenzaburo Oe is one of the great writers of the century and The Silent Cry is his masterpiece.
Wise and illuminating, Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age! is a masterpiece from one of the world's finest writers, Kenzaburo Oe -- winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. K is a famous writer living in Tokyo with his wife and three children, one of whom is mentally disabled. K's wife confronts him with the information that this child, Eeyore, has been doing disturbing things -- behaving aggressively, asserting that he's dead, even brandishing a knife at his mother -- and K, given to retreating from reality into abstraction, looks for answers in his lifelong love of William Blake's poetry. As K struggles to understand his family and assess his responsibilities within it, he must also reevaluate himself -- his relationship with his own father, the political stances he has taken, the duty of artists and writers in society. A remarkable portrait of the inexpressible bond between this father and his damaged son, Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age! is the...
In Seventeen, the story of a lonely seventeen year old who turns to a right-wing group for self-esteem, and J, the story of a spoiled, young, drifter son of a Japanese executive, Ōe shows us a world where the values that had regulated life had been blown to smithereens along with Hiroshima and Nagasaki: what confronts his heroes now is a gaping emptiness.
The first new novel Oe has published since winning the Nobel Prize, Somersault is a magnificent story of the charisma of leaders, the danger of zealotry, and the mystery of faith.
A decade before the story opens, two men referred to as the Patron and Guide of mankind were leaders of an influential religious movement. When a radical faction of their followers threatened to unleash an apocalypse, they recanted all of their teachings and abandoned their followers. Now, after ten years of silence, Patron and Guide begin contacting their old followers and reaching out to the public, assisted by a small group of young people who have come to them in recent months.
Just as they are beginning this renewed push, the radical faction kidnaps Guide, holding him captive until his health gives out. Patron and a small core of the faithful, including a painter named Kizu who may become the new Guide, move to the mountains to establish the church’s new base, followed by two...
Kenzaburo Oe was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for creating "an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today." In Death by Water, his recurring protagonist and literary alter-ego returns to his hometown village in search of a red suitcase fabled to hold documents revealing the details of his father’s death during WWII: details that will serve as the foundation for his new, and final, novel.
Since his youth, renowned novelist Kogito Choko planned to fictionalize his father’s fatal drowning in order to fully process the loss. Stricken with guilt and regret over his failure to rescue his father, Choko has long been driven to discover why his father was boating on the river in a torrential storm. Though he remembers overhearing his father and a group of soldiers discussing an insurgent scheme to stage a suicide attack on Emperor Mikado, Choko cannot separate his memories from imagination and his family is hesitant to reveal the entire story. When the contents of the trunk turn out to offer little clarity, Choko abandons the novel in creative despair. Floundering as an artist, he’s haunted by fear that he may never write his tour de force. But when he collaborates with an avant-garde theater troupe dramatizing his early novels, Kogito is revitalized by revisiting his formative work and he finds the will to continue investigating his father’s demise.
Diving into the turbulent depths of legacy and mortality, Death by Water is an exquisite examination of resurfacing national and personal trauma, and the ways that storytelling can mend political, social, and familial rifts.