A Quiet Life by Kenzaburo Oe

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Synopsis

Kenzaburo Oe is one of the most original and important writers of our times, and nowhere is his genius more evident than in A Quiet Life—an uncanny blend of the real with the imagined, of memoir with fiction. A Quiet Life is narrated by Ma-chan, a twenty-year-old woman. Her father is a famous and fascinating novelist; her older brother, though severely brain-damaged, possesses an almost magical gift for musical composition; and her mother’s life is devoted to the care of them both. Ma-chan and her younger brother find themselves emotionally on the outside of this oddly constructed nuclear family. But when her father accepts a visiting professorship from an American university, Ma-chan finds herself suddenly the head of the household and at the center of family relationships that she must begin to redefine.
 

About Kenzaburo Oe

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Kenzaburo Oe was born in 1935 in Ose, a mountain village on Japanrsquo;s Shikoku Island. He graduated in French literature from Tokyo University and became a full-time writer in 1959. He has won many international literary honors, including the 1989 Prix Europalia and the Nobel Prize for Literature.
 
Published January 17, 1998 by Grove Press. 257 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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What begins as a strictly factual, almost clinical account of the details of caring for a grown man (``Eeyore,'' as Hikari is affectionately nicknamed) who's subject to epileptic fits, easily distracted, and only intermittently lucid, metastasizes, as it were, into a linked series of meditations ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Like Oe, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1994, K-Chan, the character at the heart of this novel, is an internationally renowned Japanese novelist.

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Entertainment Weekly

A Quiet Life, Kenzaburo Oe's fifth English-translated novel, portrays the life of one middle-class Japanbese family during a crisis in their carefully constructed world.

Dec 20 1996 | Read Full Review of A Quiet Life

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