Quicksandby Junichiro Tanizaki, Howard Hibbitt (Translator)
From one of the greatest writers of twentieth-century Japan comes a silkily nuanced novel of erotic gamesmanship and obsession. The voice--cultured, ingenuous, and with a touch of coquetterie--is that of Sonoko Kakiuchi, an Osaka lady of good family married to a dully respectable lawyer.
Meet the Author
Junichiro Tanizaki was born in Tokyo in 1886 and lived there until the earthquake of 1923, when he moved to the Kyoto-Osaka region, the scene of his novel The Makioka Sisters (1943-48). Among his works are Naomi (1924), Some Prefer Nettles (1928), Quicksand (1930), Arrowroot (1931), A Portrait of Shunkin (1933), The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi (1935), modern versions of The Tale of Genji (1941, 1954, and 1965), Captain Shigemoto's Mother (1949), The Key (1956), and Diary of a Mad Old Man (1961). By 1930 he had gained such renown that an edition of his complete works was published, and he was awarded Japan's Imperial Prize in Literature in 1949. Tanizaki died in 1965.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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What a wild ride of a book. When it seems that events can't get any weirder or bizarre, they get weirder and more bizarre. Tanizaki is an amazing story-teller and reading this book it's incredible to realize that this was originally published in serial form in the late 1920's. Tanizaki captures the atmosphere of the period very well. His investigation into the love between his two female protagonists is engrossing. Man and woman; man and man; woman and woman: who's to say what's odd and what's normal? In the hands of Tanizaki, obsession is dissected and eroticism is replaced by mental illness and cruelty. A great book, and a great author.
This story centers on Mrs. Sonoko Kakiuchi, a woman who has grown bored with her stuffy, conservative husband. To fill her time, she takes art courses at an art school. It's there she meets another art student, the beautiful Mitsuko. The two have a torrid love affair. Shortly after the affair begins, Mitsuko starts behaving strange and then Mrs. Kakiuchi is thrown into a strange world filled with betrayal, suspicion, blood oaths, fake pregnancies, botched abortions, one-sided contracts, suicide pacts and secret rendezvous. Everything spins violently out of control sucking in more and more people until the whole thing ends dramatically with a tragedy. This is a fantastic book and in my opinion one of Junichiro Tanizaki's very best!