Synopses & Reviews
Portraying himself as a failure, the protagonist of Osamu Dazai's narrates a seemingly normal life even while he feels himself incapable of understanding human beings. Oba Yozo's attempts to reconcile himself to the world around him begin in early childhood, continue through high school, where he becomes a "clown" to mask his alienation, and eventually lead to a failed suicide attempt as an adult. Without sentimentality, he records the casual cruelties of life and its fleeting moments of human connection and tenderness.
"A stark but powerful novel of modern Japan focuses on one unhappy young symbol of a dejected generation." Booklist
"Dazai offers something permanent and beautiful." The New York Times Book Review
"I like Dazai a lot." Wong Kar-Wai, film director
About the Author
Osamu Dazai (1909-1948) was a 20th century Japanese novelist.
Donald Keene is a distinguished translator of Japanese.