Kiku's Prayer: A Novel by Shusaku Endo | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Kiku's Prayer: A Novel

Kiku's Prayer: A Novel

3.6 9
by Shusaku Endo
     
 

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Endo Shusaku was a renowned twentieth-century Japanese author who wrote from the unusual perspective of being both Japanese and Catholic. His work is often compared to that of Graham Greene, who himself considered Endo one of the century’s finest writers. A historical novel set in the turbulent period between the fall of the shogunate and the Meiji

Overview

Endo Shusaku was a renowned twentieth-century Japanese author who wrote from the unusual perspective of being both Japanese and Catholic. His work is often compared to that of Graham Greene, who himself considered Endo one of the century’s finest writers. A historical novel set in the turbulent period between the fall of the shogunate and the Meiji Restoration, Kiku’s Prayer embodies themes central to Endo’s work, including religion, modernization, and the endurance of the human spirit. In Japan, the book is considered one of his late masterpieces and has never before been translated into English.Endo’s novel is told through the eyes of Kiku, self-assured young woman from a rural village who falls in love with Seikichi, a devoted Catholic man. Practicing a faith still banned by the government, Seikichi is imprisoned and forced to recant under torture. Kiku’s efforts to reconcile her feelings for Seikichi and the sacrifices she makes to free him mirror the painful, conflicting choices Japan faced as a result of exposure to modernity and the West. Endo’s nuanced view of history is very much on display in this novel: Seikichi’s persecution exemplifies Japan’s insecurities toward the West, and Kiku’s tortured yet determined spirit represents the nation’s resilient soul. Yet Kiku’s Prayer is much more than a historical allegory. It acutely renders one woman’s troubled encounter with passion and spirituality at a transitional time in her life and in the life of her people.

Editorial Reviews

Book Junkie Joint
A beautifully faithful and rich depiction of 19th century Japan.

The Japan Times - Joseph S. O'Leary
Deftly plotted and well researched, the novel is tinged with affection for Nagasaki

New Pages
A rewarding journey.

Asian Review of Books - Todd Shimoda
A powerful and suspenseful read.

Historical Novels Review
A wonderful, poignant and beautiful work of historical fiction – highly recommended!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231530835
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
12/25/2012
Series:
Weatherhead Books on Asia
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,057,255
File size:
17 MB
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This product may take a few minutes to download.

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What People are saying about this

Kevin M. Doak
I can't think of another work by Endo Shusaku that combines, as well as Kiku's Prayer, his exceptional skills as an author of historical fiction and his extraordinary ability to write fictional stories that truly touch one's heart.

Dennis Washburn
Endo Shusaku writes with force and stylistic verve about the vexing experience of living at the intersection among cultures, religions, and belief systems. This novel is a touching, deftly handled character study that traces the processes by which Kiku achieves self-understanding and some measure of spiritual reconciliation.

Meet the Author

Endo Shusaku (1923–1996) studied French literature at the University of Lyon from 1950 to 1953. In 1995, Japan’s Emperor Akihito presented the author with the Order of Culture, the nation’s highest honor for contributions in literature, art, and culture. His publications include the internationally acclaimed novel Silence (soon to be adapted for the screen by director Martin Scorsese), The Sea and Poison, A Life of Jesus, and Song of Sadness, as well as many other works dealing with childhood experiences, the stigma of being an outsider, the experience of being a foreigner, and the difficulties of following a foreign faith. Van C. Gessel is professor of Japanese at Brigham Young University. He is the author of Three Modern Novelists: Soseki, Tanizaki, Kawabata; coeditor of The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature; and translator of seven literary works by Endo Shusaku, including The Samurai and Deep River.

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