Five by Endo: (New Directions Bibelots)

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9780811214391: Five by Endo: (New Directions Bibelots)

Five wonderful stories by the Japanese master. Winner of every major Japanese literary prize, his work translated around the globe, Shusaku Endo (1923-1996) is a great and unique figure in the literature of the twentient century. "Irrevocably enmeshed in Japanese culture, he is by virtue of his religion [Endo was Roman Catholic] irrevocably alienated from it" (Geoffrey O'Brian, Village Voice). It is this aspect that has made Endo so particularly intriguing to his readership at home and abroad. Now gathered in a New Directions Bibelot edition are five of Endo's supreme short stories exemplifying his style and his interests, presenting, as it were, Endo in a nutshell. "Unzen," the opening story, touches on the subject of Silence Endo's most famous novel -- that is the torture and martyrdom of Christians in seventeenth-century Japan. Next comes "A Fifty-year-old Man" in which Mr. Chiba takes up ballroom dancing and faces the imminent death of his brother and his dog Whitey. In "MJapanese in Warsaw" a business man has a strange encounter; in "The Box," an old photo album and a few postcards have a tale to reveal. Finally included is "The Case of Isobe," the opening chapter of Endo's novel Deep River in which Isobe, a member of a tour group, hopes to find in India the reincarnation of the wife he took so much for granted.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Not as well known in the West as Mishima or Kawabata, the late Endo is one of Japan's most revered novelists, his most famous work being Silence, in which the Roman Catholic author deals with the torture and martyrdom of Christians in 17th-century Japan. That theme carries over into the first two of these finely crafted and engaging stories. "Unzen" tells of a Japanese history student who visits the Valley of Hell, where Christians were tortured in the hot springs on Mt. Unzen. Mired in his own "spiritual slovenliness," the student struggles to understand why they embraced martyrdom. "Why had they been so indomitable?" he asks. "Japanese in Warsaw" is a moving and merciless story of 10 Japanese businessmen who visit Warsaw mainly for the impoverished, beautiful prostitutes. The tourists mock the city and are uninterested in its history, but their trip takes on an unexpected resonance when they learn that Warsaw residents associate the Japanese men with a noble Polish priest, Father Kolbe, who once lived in Nagasaki, and who was killed at Auschwitz. This story ends with an eerie revelation, and there is an eerieness, too, to "The Box," in which a collection of letters and postcards delineate the life of a French/Japanese woman who may have been a spy during WWII. In "A Fifty-year-old Man," Mr. Chiba, feeling his mortality, takes up ballroom dancing as he deals with his brother's illness and the death of his faithful dog. The final story is the opening chapter of Endo's novel Deep River, in which Isobe's dying wife sets the plot in motion by saying to him, "... I'll be reborn somewhere in this world. Look for me... find me... promise... promise!" Endo's sentences are as ephemeral (and as beautiful) as mist, yet they evoke sights, sounds, tastes and smells to make the ordinary exquisite. Like a mouthwatering appetizer, this small sampler will stimulate a hunger for more of Endo's work. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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"Small and curious articles of virtu or objects of art"

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Book Description New Directions Publishing Corporation. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 96 pages. Dimensions: 6.7in. x 5.1in. x 0.3in.Five wonderful stories by the Japanese master. Winner of every major Japanese literary prize, his work translated around the globe, Shusaku Endo (1923-1996) is a great and unique figure in the literature of the twentient century. Irrevocably enmeshed in Japanese culture, he is by virtue of his religion Endo was Roman Catholic irrevocably alienated from it (Geoffrey OBrian, Village Voice). It is this aspect that has made Endo so particularly intriguing to his readership at home and abroad. Now gathered in a New Directions Bibelot edition are five of Endos supreme short stories exemplifying his style and his interests, presenting, as it were, Endo in a nutshell. Unzen, the opening story, touches on the subject of Silence Endos most famous novel -- that is the torture and martyrdom of Christians in seventeenth-century Japan. Next comes A Fifty-year-old Man in which Mr. Chiba takes up ballroom dancing and faces the imminent death of his brother and his dog Whitey. In MJapanese in Warsaw a business man has a strange encounter; in The Box, an old photo album and a few postcards have a tale to reveal. Finally included is The Case of Isobe, the opening chapter of Endos novel Deep River in which Isobe, a member of a tour group, hopes to find in India the reincarnation of the wife he took so much for granted. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780811214391

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