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A True Novel

by

A True Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9781590512036
ISBN10: 1590512030
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A remaking of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights set in postwar Japan

 

A True Novel begins in New York in the 1960s, where we meet Taro, a relentlessly ambitious Japanese immigrant trying to make his fortune. Flashbacks and multilayered stories reveal his life: an impoverished upbringing as an orphan, his eventual rise to wealth and success—despite racial and class prejudice—and an obsession with a girl from an affluent family that has haunted him all his life. A True Novel then widens into an examination of Japan’s westernization and the emergence of a middle class.

 

The winner of Japan’s prestigious Yomiuri Literature Prize, Mizumura has written a beautiful novel, with love at its core, that reveals, above all, the power of storytelling.

Review:

"The story-within-a-story-within-a-story at the heart of this novel features a doomed, Wuthering Heights romance set in postwar Japan, with the 20th-century Heathcliff riding the Japanese-American economic wave. Concentric narratives connect and transform into a critical appraisal of commercial expansion and cultural decline. Narrator-novelist Minae begins by recalling her younger days as the daughter of a Japanese businessman on Long Island, where she meets 20-something Taro Azuma, then a chauffeur for an American. It's the 1960s, a time of opportunity. Years later, Minae meets Japanese émigré Yusuke who describes his encounter in the states with Azuma, now a wealthy man in mysterious seclusion. Yusuke also relates the life story of Fumiko, Azuma's friend. In a flashback to Japan, we see 17-year-old war orphan Fumiko working as a maid for a woman whose family, in 1956, takes the orphaned boy Azuma under its wing as part servant, part protégé. Azuma grows up hopelessly devoted to Yoko, the illness-prone daughter of Fumiko's employer. Yoko in turn loves but rejects Azuma, propelling him to America and prosperity, then back to Japan and to her. The Japanese tradition of burning fires for the dead suits the ghostly Brontë-esque finale, but far more notable are Minae's edgy insights into class distinctions, trans-Pacific cultures, and modernization's spiritual void. A transparent translation and the author's stylistic clarity smooth navigation between storylines. Photographs create the sense of browsing through an album — a nearly 900-page album encompassing two continents and several decades." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A remaking of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights set in postwar Japan

 

A True Novel begins in New York in the 1960s, where we meet Taro, a relentlessly ambitious Japanese immigrant trying to make his fortune. Flashbacks and multilayered stories reveal his life: an impoverished upbringing as an orphan, his eventual rise to wealth and success—despite racial and class prejudice—and an obsession with a girl from an affluent family that has haunted him all his life. A True Novel then widens into an examination of Japan’s westernization and the emergence of a middle class.

 

The winner of Japan’s prestigious Yomiuri Literature Prize, Mizumura has written a beautiful novel, with love at its core, that reveals, above all, the power of storytelling.

About the Author

Minae Mizumura is one of the most important novelists writing in Japan today. Born in Tokyo, she moved with her family to Long Island, New York, when she was twelve. She studied French literature at Yale College and Yale Graduate School. Her other novels to date are Zoku meian (Light and Darkness Continued), a sequel to the unfinished classic Light and Darkness by Natsume Soseki, and the autobiographical Shishosetsu (An “I” Novel from Left to Right). She lives in Tokyo.

 

Juliet Carpenter studied Japanese literature at the University of Michigan and the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Tokyo. Carpenter’s translation of Kobo Abe’s novel Secret Rendezvous won the 1980 Japan–United States Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Malory, October 27, 2014 (view all comments by Malory)
I had never read Wuthering Heights and I honestly didn't know A True Novel was inspired by it until I had finished reading it. Although I generally stay away from excessively long book, after reading the first volume, I had to get the second one. Mizumura has a way of drawing you in from all angles and keeping you there. A perfect recommendation for a literature lover for a chilly autumn or night night.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781590512036
Author:
Mizumura, Minae
Publisher:
Other Press (NY)
Author:
Carpenter, Juliet Winters
Author:
Sherif, Ann
Subject:
Family saga
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
japan;fiction;novel
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20131131
Binding:
SET SOFTCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
880
Dimensions:
8.72 x 5.61 x 1.95 in 3.22 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Cultural Heritage
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

A True Novel New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$29.95 In Stock
Product details 880 pages Other Press (NY) - English 9781590512036 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The story-within-a-story-within-a-story at the heart of this novel features a doomed, Wuthering Heights romance set in postwar Japan, with the 20th-century Heathcliff riding the Japanese-American economic wave. Concentric narratives connect and transform into a critical appraisal of commercial expansion and cultural decline. Narrator-novelist Minae begins by recalling her younger days as the daughter of a Japanese businessman on Long Island, where she meets 20-something Taro Azuma, then a chauffeur for an American. It's the 1960s, a time of opportunity. Years later, Minae meets Japanese émigré Yusuke who describes his encounter in the states with Azuma, now a wealthy man in mysterious seclusion. Yusuke also relates the life story of Fumiko, Azuma's friend. In a flashback to Japan, we see 17-year-old war orphan Fumiko working as a maid for a woman whose family, in 1956, takes the orphaned boy Azuma under its wing as part servant, part protégé. Azuma grows up hopelessly devoted to Yoko, the illness-prone daughter of Fumiko's employer. Yoko in turn loves but rejects Azuma, propelling him to America and prosperity, then back to Japan and to her. The Japanese tradition of burning fires for the dead suits the ghostly Brontë-esque finale, but far more notable are Minae's edgy insights into class distinctions, trans-Pacific cultures, and modernization's spiritual void. A transparent translation and the author's stylistic clarity smooth navigation between storylines. Photographs create the sense of browsing through an album — a nearly 900-page album encompassing two continents and several decades." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , A remaking of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights set in postwar Japan

 

A True Novel begins in New York in the 1960s, where we meet Taro, a relentlessly ambitious Japanese immigrant trying to make his fortune. Flashbacks and multilayered stories reveal his life: an impoverished upbringing as an orphan, his eventual rise to wealth and success—despite racial and class prejudice—and an obsession with a girl from an affluent family that has haunted him all his life. A True Novel then widens into an examination of Japan’s westernization and the emergence of a middle class.

 

The winner of Japan’s prestigious Yomiuri Literature Prize, Mizumura has written a beautiful novel, with love at its core, that reveals, above all, the power of storytelling.

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