“[These] ordinary lives . . . are movingly illuminated . . . portraits drawn with affection, insight and that wry humor . . . that is one of the defining qualities of [Oe’s] talent.”The New York Times Book Review
A Quiet Life
978-0-8021-3546-9 • $16.00 • Paperback • Jan. 1998
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 Lifean 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.