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Embracing Family (Japanese Literature)

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Embracing Family (Japanese Literature) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Set during the U.S. Occupation following World War II, Embracing Family is a novel of conflict--between Western and Eastern traditions, between a husband and wife, between ideals and reality. At the opening of the book, Miwa Shunsuke and his wife are trapped in a strained marriage, subtly attacking one another in a manner similar to that of the characters in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? When his wife has an affair with an American GI, Miwa is forced to come to terms with the disintegration of their relationship and the fact that his attempts to repair it only exacerbate the situation. An award-winning novel, critics have read this book as a metaphor of postwar Japanese society, in which the traditional moral and philosophical basis of Japanese culture is neglected in favor of Western conventions.

Review:

"Set during the post-WWII American occupation of Japan, this sometimes disjointed novel (the first English-language publication of Kojima's 1965 Japanese debut) centers on middle-aged professor Shunsuke Miwa trying — and mostly failing — to understand the family from whom he has always been distant. Although he himself has philandered, Shunsuke, an expert on Western culture, is thrown into a crisis when his wife, Tokiko, asserts her independence by having an affair with an American GI. Shunsuke's attempts to impose authority leave him figuratively and literally impotent, and he overcompensates by building a preposterous Western-style house. When Tokiko develops breast cancer, Shunsuke endeavors to restore domesticity and cluelessly tries to connect with his son and daughter. Although outsiders eventually judge Shunsuke as 'overly preoccupied' with his family, he continues to struggle inwardly with the conflicts between Western modernity and traditional Japanese patriarchy, between American action and his own passivity. Shunsuke's efforts to make peace during his wife's illness are somewhat endearing, but his inability to really see her (and other women) as autonomous people may leave American readers with little sympathy for this traditional patriarch. Kojima's controlled prose, as well as Shunsuke's cool response to emotional events, lend the novel a spareness bordering on sterility." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781564784056
Translator:
Tanaka, Yukiko
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Translator:
Tanaka, Yukiko
Author:
Kojima, Nobuo
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
History
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
East and West
Subject:
Japan - History - Allied occupation, 1945-
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Series:
Japanese Literature
Publication Date:
20051231
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
161
Dimensions:
9.30x7.04x.74 in. .82 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
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Embracing Family (Japanese Literature) New Hardcover
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Product details 161 pages Dalkey Archive Press - English 9781564784056 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Set during the post-WWII American occupation of Japan, this sometimes disjointed novel (the first English-language publication of Kojima's 1965 Japanese debut) centers on middle-aged professor Shunsuke Miwa trying — and mostly failing — to understand the family from whom he has always been distant. Although he himself has philandered, Shunsuke, an expert on Western culture, is thrown into a crisis when his wife, Tokiko, asserts her independence by having an affair with an American GI. Shunsuke's attempts to impose authority leave him figuratively and literally impotent, and he overcompensates by building a preposterous Western-style house. When Tokiko develops breast cancer, Shunsuke endeavors to restore domesticity and cluelessly tries to connect with his son and daughter. Although outsiders eventually judge Shunsuke as 'overly preoccupied' with his family, he continues to struggle inwardly with the conflicts between Western modernity and traditional Japanese patriarchy, between American action and his own passivity. Shunsuke's efforts to make peace during his wife's illness are somewhat endearing, but his inability to really see her (and other women) as autonomous people may leave American readers with little sympathy for this traditional patriarch. Kojima's controlled prose, as well as Shunsuke's cool response to emotional events, lend the novel a spareness bordering on sterility." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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