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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June 2000 : USA Paperback