In the late nineteenth century, Tomo, the faithful wife of a government official, is sent to Tokyo, where a heartbreaking task is awaiting her. From among hundreds of geishas and daughters offered up for sale by their families she must select a respectable young girl to become her husband's new lover. Externally calm, but torn apart inside, Tomo dutifully begins the search for an official mistress. The Waiting Years was awarded Japan's most prestigious literary award, the Noma Prize.
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An unnerving portrait of women caught in a web of shifting relationships within an upper-class family in the years following the Meiji Restoration.About the Author:
Fumiko Enchi, the daughter of a famous scholar of the Japanese language, was born in Tokyo in 1905. Without completing her studies at the Girls' High School of the Japan Women's University, she left to study drama. Her first play, Banshun Soya, performed at the Tsukiji Little Theater, was a success. At twenty-five she married a journalist, but after the unhappy war period, when all her property was destroyed, she determined to concentrate entirely on writing in order to escape the oppression of domestic life. A short story published in 1952, Himojii Tsukihi, was acclaimed by the critics and won the coveted Women Writers Prize. With illness and the psychological stresses of middle age, her writing took on an acute realism which set it apart from the subdued tones of traditional Japanese writing. On the publication in 1957 of The Waiting Years--a novel she took eight years to write--she won Japan's highest literary award, the Noma Prize, and is now a member of the Art Academy.
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