Author: Yasunari Kawabata
The power of love and illusion shape the lives of a young geisha and a rich Tokyo dilettante
Author: Yukio Mishima
Yukio Mishima’s Spring Snow is the first novel in his masterful tetralogy, The Sea of Fertility. Here we meet Shigekuni Honda, who narrates this epic tale of what he believes are the successive reincarnations of his friend, Kiyoaki Matsugae. It is 1912 in Tokyo, and the hermetic world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders — rich provincial families unburdened by tradition, whose money and vitality make them formidable contenders for social and political power. Shigekuni Honda, an aspiring lawyer and his childhood friend, Kiyoaki Matsugae, are the sons of two such families. As they come of age amidst the growing tensions between old and new, Kiyoaki is plagued by his simultaneous love for and loathing of the spirited young woman Ayakura Satoko. But Kiyoaki’s true feelings only become apparent when her sudden engagement to a royal prince shows him the magnitude of his passion — and leads to a love affair both doomed and inevitable. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Yasunari Kawabata
Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata’s Thousand Cranes is a luminous story of desire, regret, and the almost sensual nostalgia that binds the living to the dead. While attending a traditional tea ceremony in the aftermath of his parents’ deaths, Kikuji encounters his father’s former mistress, Mrs. Ota. At first Kikuji is appalled by her indelicate nature, but it is not long before he succumbs to passion—a passion with tragic and unforeseen consequences, not just for the two lovers, but also for Mrs. Ota’s daughter, to whom Kikuji’s attachments soon extend. Death, jealousy, and attraction convene around the delicate art of the tea ceremony, where every gesture is imbued with profound meaning.
Author: Yukio Mishima
Yukio Mishima’s Runaway Horses is the second novel in his masterful tetralogy, The Sea of Fertility. Again we encounter Shigekuni Honda, who narrates this epic tale of what he believes are the successive reincarnations of his childhood friend Kiyoaki Matsugae. In 1932, Shigeuki Honda has become a judge in Osaka. Convinced that a young rightist revolutionary, Isao, is the reincarnation of his friend Kiyoaki, Honda commits himself to saving the youth from an untimely death. Isao, driven to patriotic fanaticism by a father who instilled in him the ethos of the ancient samurai, organizes a violent plot against the new industrialists who he believes are usurping the Emperor’s rightful power and threatening the very integrity of the nation. Runaway Horses is the chronicle of a conspiracy — a novel about the roots and nature of Japanese fanaticism in the years that led to war. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Three surreal, erotically charged stories from Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata. In the three long tales in this collection, Yasunari Kawabata examines the boundaries between fantasy and reality in the minds of three lonely men. Piercing examinations of sexuality and human psychology—and works of remarkable subtlety and beauty—these stories showcase one of the twentieth century’s great writers—in any language—at his very best.
Author: Yasunari Kawabata
Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata’s Snow Country is widely considered to be the writer’s masterpiece: a powerful tale of wasted love set amid the desolate beauty of western Japan. At an isolated mountain hot spring, with snow blanketing every surface, Shimamura, a wealthy dilettante meets Komako, a lowly geisha. She gives herself to him fully and without remorse, despite knowing that their passion cannot last and that the affair can have only one outcome. In chronicling the course of this doomed romance, Kawabata has created a story for the ages — a stunning novel dense in implication and exalting in its sadness.
Author: Fumiko Enchi
Following the death of her son, Mieko Toganō takes an increasing interest in the personal affairs of her widowed daughter-in-law, Yasuko. Devastated by her loss, she skillfully manipulates the relationships between Yasuko and the two men who are in love with her, encouraging a dalliance that will have terrible consequences. Meanwhile, hidden in the shadows, is Mieko’s mentally-handicapped daughter, who has her own role to play in her mother’s bizarre schemes. In Masks, Enchi has crafted a stunning and understated novel of seduction and infidelity.
Author: Orhan Pamuk
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Snow begins in the year 1992. Ka, a poet and political exile, returns to Turkey as a journalist, assigned to investigate troubling reports of suicide in the small and mysterious city of Kars on the Turkish border. The snow is falling fast as he arrives, and soon all roads are closed. There's a 'suicide epidemic' amongst young religious women forbidden to wear their headscarves. Islamists are poised to win the local elections and Ka is falling in love with the beautiful and radiant Ipek, now recently divorced. Amid blanketing snowfall and universal suspicion, he finds himself pursued by terrorism in a city wasting away under the shadow of Europe. In the midst of growing religious and political violence, the stage is set for a terrible and desperate act . . . Touching, slyly comic, and humming with cerebral suspense, Snow evokes the spiritual fragility of the non-Western world, its ambivalence about the godless West, and its fury. 'A novel of profound relevance to our present moment' The Times
Author: Orhan Pamuk
From the Nobel Prize-winning author of My Name Is Red and Snow, a large-format, deluxe, collectible edition of his beloved memoir about life in Istanbul, with more than 200 added illustrations and a new introduction. Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul and still lives in the family apartment building where his mother first held him in her arms. His portrait of his city is thus also a self-portrait, refracted by memory and the melancholy--or h�z�n--that all Istanbullus share: the sadness that comes of living amid the ruins of a lost empire. With cinematic fluidity, Pamuk moves from the lives of his glamorous, unhappy parents to the gorgeous, decrepit mansions overlooking the Bosphorus; from the dawning of his self-consciousness to the writers and painters--both Turkish and foreign--who would shape his consciousness of his city. Like Joyce's Dublin and Borges' Buenos Aires, Pamuk's Istanbul is a triumphant encounter of place and sensibility, beautifully written and immensely moving.
Author: Yasunari Kawabata
Publisher: New Directions Publishing
A fascinating discovery, Kawabata’s unfinished final novel Dandelions is a great master’s last word Beautifully spare and deeply strange, Dandelions—exploring love and madness—is Kawabata’s final novel, left incomplete when he committed suicide in April, 1972. The book concerns Ineko’s mother and Kuno, the young man who loves Ineko and wants to marry her. The two have left Ineko at the Ikuta Mental Hospital, which she has entered for treatment of a condition that might be called “seizures of body blindness.” Although her vision as a whole is unaffected, she periodically becomes unable to see her lover Kuno’s body: when this occurs, Ineko breaks down. Whether or not her condition actually constitutes madness is a topic of heated discussion between Kuno and Ineko’s mother… In this tantalizing book, Kawabata explores the incommunicability of desire as well as desire’s relation to the urge to hide. With Dandelions, Kawabata carries the art of the novel, where he always suggested more than he stated, into mysterious new realms.
“The apparently fixed constellations of family relationships, the recurrent beauties of nature, the flaming or flickering patterns of love and lust—all the elements of Kawabata’s fictional world are combined in an engrossing novel that rises to the incantatory fascination of a Nō drama.” —Saturday Review Few novels have rendered the predicament of old age more beautifully than The Sound of the Mountain. For in his portrait of an elderly Tokyo businessman, Yasunari Kawabata charts the gradual, reluctant narrowing of a human life, along with the sudden upsurges of passion that illuminate its closing. By day Ogata Shingo is troubled by small failures of memory. At night he hears a distant rumble from the nearby mountain, a sound he associates with death. In between are the relationships that were once the foundation of Shingo’s life: with his disappointing wife, his philandering son, and his daughter-in-law Kikuko, who instills in him both pity and uneasy stirrings of sexual desire. Out of this translucent web of attachments—and the tiny shifts of loyalty and affection that threaten to sever it irreparably—Kawabata creates a novel that is at once serenely observed and enormously affecting. Translated from the Japanese by Edward G. Seidensticker
Killing Mister Watson
Author: Peter Matthiessen
Drawn from fragments of historical fact, Matthiessen's masterpiece brilliantly depicts the fortunes and misfortunes of Edgar J. Watson, a real-life entrepreneur and outlaw who appeared in the lawless Florida Everglades around the turn of the century.
Author: Ha Jin
A New York Times Notable Book A Washington Post, Los Angeles times, and San Jose Mercury News Best Book of the Year Ha Jin’s seismically powerful new novel is at once an unblinking look into the bell jar of communist Chinese society and a portrait of the eternal compromises and deceptions of the human state. When the venerable professor Yang, a teacher of literature at a provincial university, has a stroke, his student Jian Wan is assigned to care for him. Since the dutiful Jian plans to marry his mentor’s beautiful, icy daughter, the job requires delicacy. Just how much delicacy becomes clear when Yang begins to rave. Are these just the outpourings of a broken mind, or is Yang speaking the truth—about his family, his colleagues, and his life’s work? And will bearing witness to the truth end up breaking poor Jian’s heart? Combining warmth and intimacy with an unsparing social vision, The Crazed is Ha Jin’s most enthralling book to date. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Izu Dancer and Other Stories
Author: Yasunari Kawabata, Yasushi Inoue
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
This Japanese literature collection contains four translated stories from two of Japan's most beloved and acclaimed fiction writers. The Izu Dancer, Yasunari Kawabata's first work to bring him recognition as a writer, is a novella about six Izu Peninsula travelers. As the six travelers journey together, intimacy develops and friendship overcomes class differences. Capturing the shy eroticism of adolescence, The Izu Dancer is a charming picture of the times. Yasushi Inoue's The Counterfeiter, although set in modern times, poses universal questions that transcend culture an era. Abasute and The Full Moon both explore themes of separation, loneliness, and isolation. Through the gloomy tales, Inoue's compassion shines, revealing yet another aspect of an author known for his vivid precision and economy of words. Inoue's stories are at least partially autobiographical, and Inoue's attitudes toward human destiny and fatalism are strongly influenced by his separation from his parents at an early age—yet all of his stories reveal his great compassion for his fellow human being.
Author: Banana Yoshimoto, Michael Emmerich
Publisher: Melville House
After her mother's death, Chihiro moves to Tokyo hoping to get over her grief and meets Nakajima, a young man battling his own demons.