Deep River

( 1 )

Overview

Thirty years lie between the leading contemporary Japanese writer Shusaku Endo's justly famed Silence and his powerful new novel Deep River, a book which is both a summation and a pinnacle of his work. The river is the Ganges, where a group of Japanese tourists converge: Isobe, grieving the death of the wife he ignored in life; Kiguchi, haunted by wartime memories of the Highway of Death in Burma; Numanda, recovering from a critical illness; Mitsuko, a cynical woman struggling with inner emptiness; and butt of ...
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Overview

Thirty years lie between the leading contemporary Japanese writer Shusaku Endo's justly famed Silence and his powerful new novel Deep River, a book which is both a summation and a pinnacle of his work. The river is the Ganges, where a group of Japanese tourists converge: Isobe, grieving the death of the wife he ignored in life; Kiguchi, haunted by wartime memories of the Highway of Death in Burma; Numanda, recovering from a critical illness; Mitsuko, a cynical woman struggling with inner emptiness; and butt of her cruel interest, Otsu, a failed seminarian for whom the figure on the cross is a god of many faces. Bringing these and other characters to vibrant life and evoking a teeming India so vividly that the reader is almost transported there, Endo reaches his ultimate religious vision, one that combines Christian faith with Buddhist acceptance.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Japanese novelist Endo combines a harsh critique of the emptiness in modern lives with a religious vision of spiritual rebirth. May
Library Journal
A trip to India becomes a journey of discovery for a group of Japanese tourists playing out their "individual dramas of the soul." Isobe searches for his reincarnated wife, while Kiguchi relives the wartime horror that ultimately saved his life. Alienated by middle age, Mitsuko follows Otsu, a failed priest, to the holy city of Varanas, hoping that the murky Ganges holds the secret to the "difference between being alive and truly living." Looking for absolutes, each character confronts instead the moral ambiguity of India's complex culture, in which good and evil are seen as a whole as indifferent to distinction as the Ganges River, which washes the living and transports the dead. This novel is a fascinating study of cultural truths revealed through a rich and varied cast. Endo, one of Japan's leading writers, The Final Martyrs, LJ 9/1/94 skillfully depicts the small details of life, investing them with universal significance. Highly recommended.-Paul E. Hutchison, Bellefonte, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811213202
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 5/1/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 140,961
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Shūsaku Endō (遠藤 周作 Endō Shūsaku) was a renowned 20th century Japanese author who wrote from the unusual perspective of being bothJ apanese and Catholic. (The population of Christians in Japan is less than 1%.) Together with Junnosuke Yoshiyuki, Shotaro Yasuoka, Junzo Shono, Hiroyuki Agawa, Ayako Sono, and Shumon Miura, Endo is categorized as one of the "Third Generation," the third major group of writers who appeared after the Second World War. His books reflect many of his childhood experiences. These include the stigma of being an outsider, the experience of being a foreigner, the life of a hospital patient, and the struggle with tuberculosis. However, his books mainly deal with the moral fabric of life. His Catholic faith can be seen at some level in all of his books, and it is often a central feature.
 
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