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Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata, Edward Seidensticker

Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata’s Thousand Cranes is a luminous story of desire, regret, and the almost sensual nostalgia that binds the living to the dead.
While attending a traditional tea ceremony in the aftermath of his parents’ deaths, Kikuji encounters his father’s former mistress, Mrs. Ota. At first Kikuji is appalled by her indelicate nature, but it is not long before he succumbs to passion—a passion with tragic and unforeseen consequences, not just for the two lovers, but also for Mrs. Ota’s daughter, to whom Kikuji’s attachments soon extend. Death, jealousy, and attraction convene around the delicate art of the tea ceremony, where every gesture is imbued with profound meaning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679762652
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/1996
Series: Perigee Japanese Library Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 144,443
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.47(d)
Lexile: 620L (what's this?)

About the Author

Yasunari Kawabata was born in Osaka in 1899. In 1968 he became the first Japanese writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. One of Japan’s most distinguished novelists, he published his first stories while he was still in high school, graduating from Tokyo Imperial University in 1924. His short story “The Izu Dancer,” first published in 1925, appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1955. Kawabata authored numerous novels, including Snow Country (1956), which cemented his reputation as one of the preeminent voices of his time, as well as Thousand Cranes (1959), The Sound of the Mountain (1970), The Master of Go (1972), and Beauty and Sadness (1975). He served as the chairman of the P.E.N. Club of Japan for several years and in 1959 he was awarded the Goethe-medal in Frankfurt. Kawabata died in 1972.

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Thousand Cranes 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
silentq on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Set in around 1950's Tokyo, a young man interacts with two of his father's women, interwoven with a daughter and a potential wife, and tea ceremonies. Some neat foot notes on tea wares add to the significance of the actions taken. Partially dreamy, and partially sharp (when dealing with the jealous woman, she's vicious). An interesting read, esp. juxtaposed with recently seeing the movie "Always: Sunset on Third Street", set in the same time period and region. One of the final scenes, with the two young people taking tea from the bowls that belonged to their dead parents, is perfectly beautiful.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
first book iv read through in months, really i actually ate than read it. although the tea custom is quite lovely in tradition, the prose gets a little drippy insofar as silent reserve and subsequent misteps. a short, simple novella relieves ones own imagination some 3 hours.