Synopses & Reviews
One thousand years ago, chaos loosed itself upon Japan, upending an era in which the arts flourished. At the dawn of 250 years of civil war, in the opulent court of Lord Norimasa, the beautiful but cruel poet Lady Utsu wages war with men's hearts and holds the fearsome lord and his devoted samurai Matsuhito in her thrall. As the two men raze Japan's landscape in futile battles for unity, Utsu falls for Matsuhito even as Lord Norimasa continues to love her. The epic romance of Utsu and Matsuhito resumes itself decades later, when they meet as vagrants so transformed by time that they no longer recognize each other; they are reunited through their mystical connection to a pair of snow foxes that are their only company in the Japanese wilderness. The heartbreaking story of their renewed love is fraught by the Japanese concept of mono no aware--life's ephemeral nature--that weighs on the lovers. Reading group guide included.
"THE SNOW FOX is a sweeping novel about three characters in medieval Japan: Lord Norimasa, whose highest love is to reunify his country and restore peace; Lady Utsu, one of the supreme poetic geniuses of her time, as famous for her cruelty as for her beauty; and Matsuhito, a samurai who apprentices himself to Lord Norimasa. When Matsuhito and Lady Utsu fall hopelessly in love, the lives of these three are forever changed. Separated for years by warfare, Matsuhito and Lady Utsu reunite but their joy is shadowed by the cruelties and the caprices of passing time.
"A spare, subtle, moving love story that builds and sustains its own utterly believable world." --Elizabeth Ward,
"A spare, subtle, moving love story that builds and sustains its own utterly believable world."'"Elizabeth Ward, Washington PostBook World...""A haunting tale of thwarted love and unsolved mysteries...achieves a transporting magic."'"Publishers Weeklystarred review "Susan Fromberg Schaeffer is, was, and always will be a wonderful writer."'"Alice Hoffman "Schaeffer tells her story in epic style....She conjures up a society defined by both exquisite beauty and bloody battles."'"Lesley Downer, New York TimesBook Review "Love, poetry and severed heads on pikes: A novel with some of the majesty of Cold Mountainimmerses you in the complex social world'"and heinous cruelty'"of medieval Japan."'"Laura Miller, Salon.
About the Author
Susan Fromberg Schaeffer (1940 - 2011) was a Professor of English and author of fourteen novels, six poetry collections, and other works.