Overview

"Shono conveys both intimacy and distance, tranquility and tension, as he explores the shifting relations between husband and wife, father and son, brother and sister." -Publishers Weekly


"These stories are so artful... they seem like the artless productions of life itself." -Kenyon College Book Review -- Kenyon College Book Review


"This collection should be sipped and savored like warm sake." -Small Press

...

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Still Life and Other Stories

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Overview

"Shono conveys both intimacy and distance, tranquility and tension, as he explores the shifting relations between husband and wife, father and son, brother and sister." -Publishers Weekly


"These stories are so artful... they seem like the artless productions of life itself." -Kenyon College Book Review -- Kenyon College Book Review


"This collection should be sipped and savored like warm sake." -Small Press

Winner of the Pen Center West Award, this delicate collection of thirteen linked tales reveals the flow of daily life in the modern Japanese family. Junzo Shono's artful layering of commonplace events, images, and conversations has been compared to haiku poetry crossed with an Ozu film.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This first translation into English of a penetrating collection of stories by one of Japan's preeminent postwar writers focuses on the small events and revelations of domestic life. In one story, a straying young husband and his unhappy wife attempt to construct their lives around the growing void between them. Another tells of a bureaucrat fired from his job for embezzlement who still leaves the house every day so his children won't know about his predicament. The other 11 pieces form a sort of novella dealing exclusively with the Yomogida family. Shono is particularly adept at capturing close family moments, such as an intense game of cards played every night before a daughter's upcoming wedding--an unconscious effort to stave off the imminent breakup of the family circle. In another moving story Shono describes Mr. Yomogida taking homemade sushi to a widower friend. Shono conveys both intimacy and distance, tranquility and tension, as he explores the shifting relations between husband and wife, father and son, brother and sister. Lammers's excellent translation keeps the dialogue and language deceptively simple yet nuanced and subtle; he makes the family Japanese and universal at the same time. (Nov.)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Junzo Shono was born in 1921 and lives in Kawasaki, Japan. Has won numerous literary awards, including the Yomiuri Prize for Evening Clouds. Raised in Japan, Wayne P. Lammers ( Ph.D. in Japanese) taught at the university level. He was translation editor for Mangajin and is considered one of the finest translators of Japanese literature today.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 7
Pt. 1 marriage
A Dance 13
Evenings at the Pool 33
Pt. 2 family album
Still Life 53
Crabs 91
Birds 102
Woodshed 139
Azure Sky 150
Two Men and the Autumn Wind 181
The Workshop 198
Picture Cards 204
Pt. 3 still together
The Rooster 249
The Mouse 254
On the Roof 259
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