Ghosts of the Tsunami by Richard Lloyd Parry
Death and Life in Japan's Disaster Zone

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It is hard to imagine a more insightful account of mass grief and its terrible processes. This book is a future classic of disaster journalism, up there with John Hersey’s Hiroshima.
-Guardian

Synopsis

The definitive account of what happened, why, and above all how it felt, when catastrophe hit Japan―by the Japan correspondent of The Times (London) and author of People Who Eat Darkness

On March 11, 2011, a powerful earthquake sent a 120-foot-high tsunami smashing into the coast of northeast Japan. By the time the sea retreated, more than eighteen thousand people had been crushed, burned to death, or drowned.

It was Japan’s greatest single loss of life since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. It set off a national crisis and the meltdown of a nuclear power plant. And even after the immediate emergency had abated, the trauma of the disaster continued to express itself in bizarre and mysterious ways.

Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, lived through the earthquake in Tokyo and spent six years reporting from the disaster zone. There he encountered stories of ghosts and hauntings, and met a priest who exorcised the spirits of the dead. And he found himself drawn back again and again to a village that had suffered the greatest loss of all, a community tormented by unbearable mysteries of its own.

What really happened to the local children as they waited in the schoolyard in the moments before the tsunami? Why did their teachers not evacuate them to safety? And why was the unbearable truth being so stubbornly covered up?

Ghosts of the Tsunami is a soon-to-be classic intimate account of an epic tragedy, told through the accounts of those who lived through it. It tells the story of how a nation faced a catastrophe, and the struggle to find consolation in the ruins.

 

About Richard Lloyd Parry

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Richard Lloyd Parry is the Asia editor and Tokyo bureau chief of The Times (London) and the author of In the Time of Madness.
 
Published October 24, 2017 by MCD. 320 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Ghosts of the Tsunami
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Rachel Cooke on Aug 27 2017

It is hard to imagine a more insightful account of mass grief and its terrible processes. This book is a future classic of disaster journalism, up there with John Hersey’s Hiroshima.

Read Full Review of Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death ... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Eri Hotta on Aug 16 2017

Nothing symbolised such failures better than the case of Okawa primary school, whose story is one of the engines powering this book, giving it the character of a finely conceived crime fiction or a psychological drama.

Read Full Review of Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death ... | See more reviews from Guardian

The Economist

Excellent
on Aug 19 2017

It is a thoughtful lesson to all societies whose first reaction in the face of adversity is to shut down inquiry and cover up the facts. You will not read a finer work of narrative non-fiction this year.

Read Full Review of Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death ... | See more reviews from The Economist

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