By Keith Staskiewicz
Updated October 02, 2015 at 05:32 PM EDT
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Death by Water

type
  • Book
genre

From early on, Oe placed himself far outside the constrained tradition of Japanese masters like Yasunari Kawabata and Junichiro Tanizaki, preferring instead the messiness of real life. The most recently translated of the Nobel Prize winner’s semiautobiographical “I-Novels” continues to retread old subjects and themes—a process Oe has compared to musical elaboration—as his literary alter ego returns to his childhood home to gather string for a book about his father’s drowning, while attempting to patch a rift between himself and his middle-aged son. There is a certain impenetrability and slogginess for the unfamiliar reader, but the novel ultimately rewards patience. B

Death by Water

2015 book
type
  • Book
genre
author
  • Kenzaburo Oe
publisher
  • Grove Press

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