Title: A Quiet Life
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated, New York, NY, U.S.A.
Publication Date: 1996
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition.
FINE/FINE unread copy protected by Archival Brodart Cover. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000602
Synopsis: At the age of twenty, Ma-Chen, a young woman, is forced to redefine her family and her life when she finds herself the head of the household due to her father's acceptance of a visiting professorship at an American university. Tour.
Review: Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe has produced a quirky, introspective novel that uses autobiographical elements to tell the story of a writer's family and his rediscovery of his place therein. Written in the form of a diary, the story is told from the point of view of Ma-Chan, the daughter of a famous writer (identified only as "K") who has decamped to California as a university writer-in-residence. Ma-Chan is left in charge of her equally famous brother, an idiot savant who composes brilliant classical music. The mentally retarded brother, nicknamed Eeyore, has violent fits, periods of incontinence, and a troubling new sexual awareness. Like Faulkner's Benjy Compson, he is the moral center of the book, a touchstone and a catalyst for the muted events that carry the novel to its unpredictable close. Full of digressions on the cinema, modernist music, and the novels of Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Oe's latest novel is a stylized, idiosyncratic confessional that only he could fashion.
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