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American Poems: Books: The Cape: and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto (Stone Bridge Fiction)
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The Cape: and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto (Stone Bridge Fiction)

  • List Price: $14.95
  • Buy New: $8.33
  • as of 4/24/2014 05:31 EDT details
  • You Save: $6.62 (44%)
In Stock
New (23) Used (13) from $7.50
  • Seller:TOTAL BOOKS
  • Sales Rank:165,507
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Paperback
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Pages:200
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):0.4
  • Dimensions (in):7.5 x 5.4 x 0.6
  • Publication Date:January 1, 2008
  • ISBN:1933330430
  • EAN:9781933330433
  • ASIN:1933330430
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days

Features:
  • Used Book in Good Condition


Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis

Born into the burakumin—Japan’s class of outcasts—Kenji Nakagami depicts the lives of his people in sensual language and stark detail. The Cape is a breakthrough novella about a burakumin community, their troubled memories, and complex family histories. Includes House on Fire and Red Hair.

Kenji Nakagami (1946–92) was a prolific writer admired for his vigorous prose style.

Amazon.com Review
Forget everything you thought you knew about Japanese literature; in The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto, Kenji Nakagami shows a face of Japan that's unlike any the West has seen before. A member of the burakumin minority--often called Japan's untouchables--the author used disjointed, rough-hewn prose to describe a gritty, down-and-out world. Both "The Cape" and "House on Fire" explore the tangled family ties of Akiyuki, a construction worker who lives among the crowded roji or alleyways of the Kishu province. Marked by madness, incest, and violence, the place makes Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County look like Mr. Rogers's neighborhood. In the course of "The Cape," for instance, Akiyuki's sister loses her mind, an in-law dies after being stabbed in his "good leg," and Akiyuki himself sleeps with a whore he strongly suspects is his half-sister. In spite of this troubled legacy, this man is the very opposite of introspective. With his longing for purity and his tireless appetite for physical labor, he's a kind of blank canvas against which his complicated family romance plays out:
The tree reminded him of himself. Akiyuki didn't know what kind of tree it was, and he didn't care. The tree had no flowers or fruit. It spread its branches to the sun, it trembled in the wind. That's enough, he thought. The tree doesn't need flowers or fruit. It doesn't need a name.
Unfortunately, the third story here ("Red Hair") is a disappointment--the kind of cheerless, one-note erotica that makes sex look like a torture devised by Existentialist philosophers. No matter; grand, tragic, and structurally complex, "The Cape" and "House on Fire" contain enough Freudian drama between them to keep a pair of Faulkner scholars obsessed for weeks. Skillfully translated by Eve Zimmerman (who also provides a preface, afterword, and helpful family tree), this is fiction of explosive power and formal daring. --Mary Park

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