An Artist of the Floating World

Ishiguro, Kazuo

Published by Putnam, 1986
ISBN 10: 0399131191 / ISBN 13: 9780399131196
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1st American Edition/1st Printing. SIGNED (inscribed) by author on bookplate decal on front end page and dated 1986: "To Dan Monte.All good wishes, Kazuo Ishiguro. 27/11/86". Remainder mark. $15.95 price on DJ flap. Author's second novel. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: In the face of the misery in his homeland, the artist Masuji Ono was unwilling to devote his art solely to the celebration of physical beauty. Instead, he put his work in the service of the imperialist movement that led Japan into World War II.

Now, as the mature Ono struggles through the aftermath of that war, his memories of his youth and of the “floating world”—the nocturnal world of pleasure, entertainment, and drink—offer him both escape and redemption, even as they punish him for betraying his early promise. Indicted by society for its defeat and reviled for his past aesthetics, he relives the passage through his personal history that makes him both a hero and a coward but, above all, a human being.

Review: In An Artist of the Floating World, Kazuo Ishiguro offers readers of the English language an authentic look at postwar Japan, "a floating world" of changing cultural behaviors, shifting societal patterns and troubling questions. Ishiguro, who was born in Nagasaki in 1954 but moved to England in 1960, writes the story of Masuji Ono, a bohemian artist and purveyor of the night life who became a propagandist for Japanese imperialism during the war. But the war is over. Japan lost, Ono's wife and son have been killed, and many young people blame the imperialists for leading the country to disaster. What's left for Ono? Ishiguro's treatment of this story earned a 1986 Whitbread Prize.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: An Artist of the Floating World
Publisher: Putnam
Publication Date: 1986
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Near Fine

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