Tanizaki proffers a story that poses as a confession given to the author (with occasional interventions by the narrator) about a woman who becomes obsessed with the beautiful art student Mitsuko and gets lost in the lies the lovers weave to deceive themselves about love.

Love, like any narrative--Tanizaki seems to be saying--is multilayered, devious, mannered and obsessively self-referential. Love is an interrogation of the stories we tell each other, or a succumbing. It is a question about the veracity of our lies. The lesbian affair Mrs Kakiuchi has with Mitsuko, and Mitsuko's complicated arrangements with her fiancé and Mrs Kakiuchi's husband, do not allow for easy moralisms. This is a novel of observation, in which Tanazaki reserves comment and allows the characters to play out the fate they have chosen by denying their bourgeois concerns and buying into the danger of passion. As ever sex and death are linked, with the possibility of ritual suicides present at every turn. We are left wondering whether death is the height of orgiastic success, the failure of life in love, or the erotic commingling of the two. --Mark Thwaite

Genre: Mystery

Used availability for Junichiro Tanizaki's Quicksand

Hardback Editions

January 1994 : USA Hardback
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Title: Quicksand
Author(s): Junichiro Tanizaki
ISBN: 0-394-58547-X / 978-0-394-58547-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

June 1995 : USA Paperback
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Title: Quicksand
Author(s): Junichiro Tanizaki
ISBN: 0-679-76022-9 / 978-0-679-76022-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 1994 : UK Paperback
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Title: Quicksand (Vintage Classics)
Author(s): Junichiro Tanizaki
ISBN: 0-09-948561-3 / 978-0-09-948561-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage Classics
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

June 2010 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Quicksand (Vintage Classics)
Author(s): Junichiro Tanizaki
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU