Kenzaburo Oe's picture

Kenzaburo Ōe

Japan (b.1935)

Kenzaburo Oe is a Japanese novelist whose works express the rebellion of his post-World War II generation. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1994.
Non fiction
Nobel Prize in Literature Lifetime Achievement winner (1994)
Man Booker International Prize Best Book nominee (2016) : Death by Water

Kenzaburo Ōe recommends
The Old Garden (2009)
Hwang Sok-Yong
"The most powerful voice in fiction in East Asia today."
The Lonesome Bodybuilder (2018)
Yukiko Motoya
"I knew immediately this book was a work of quality entertainment by a writer who had consciously worked to hone their craft - but was it literature? I had the lingering doubts of an old man now far removed from the current readership. Wanting to delve deeper, I decided to read it again, laying aside my long-held view of fiction: one that demarcated 'entertainment' from 'real literature.' I realized I couldn't deny it. This collection serves almost as a sampler of fresh ideas and forms, but the pieces demanded more than simply to enjoy them and then put them away, saying, 'Well, that was fun.' How is it that these pieces work with their twists and tricks, and then, on top of that, also attain the state of literature? The writer possesses an acuity in human observation that will be a life's work, and the prose skill to describe it concisely. After tasting the delightful surprises in each story in this varied collection, I felt not as though I had passed through a gallery hung with individual talents, but that I had seen at one glance the irrepressible formation of an artist."

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