by Shannon B., May 25, 2005 12:38 PM
If you like your books to be a punch in the face, then consider A Personal Matter a good nose bleed of a novel. This is a depiction of human frailty, alienation, despair, and ultimate triumph. Coming to grips with the narrator proved to be quite a wrestling match — this complexity is what I like most about the story. Based on his own personal experiences, Oe offers a glimpse into complicated Japanese societal stigmas and how one man crumbles under their weight, only to reemerge upon humbly accepting the birth of his ill-fated son.