A True Novel by Minae Mizumura

By Minae Mizumura

A remaking of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights set in postwar Japan.

A actual Novel starts in ny within the Sixties, the place we meet Taro, a relentlessly bold jap immigrant attempting to make his fortune. Flashbacks and multilayered tales show his existence: an impoverished upbringing as an orphan, his eventual upward thrust to wealth and success—despite racial and sophistication prejudice—and an obsession with a lady from an prosperous kin that has haunted him all his lifestyles. a real Novel then widens into an exam of Japan’s westernization and the emergence of a center class.

The winner of Japan’s prestigious Yomiuri Literature Prize, Mizumura has written a stunning novel, with love at its middle, that finds, certainly, the ability of storytelling.

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40–69, Arthur Riss, Race, Slavery, and Literature in Nineteenth–Century America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), esp. chapter 4, ‘A is for Anything’. 31 Arac, The Politics of The Scarlet Letter, 258. 32 Ibid. 416. 33 Bercovitch, The Office of The Scarlet Letter, xiv. 34 Whether one reads the ending as disciplinary or not, the fact is that we, like Hester, adopt the scarlet letter in all of its interpretative, political, historical, and aesthetic dimensions. The narrative practices and the various characters of The Scarlet Letter have taught us how to do this, and we have done so ‘of [our] own free will’.

Its front is ornamented with a portico of half a dozen wooden pillars, supporting a balcony, beneath which a flight of wide granite steps descends towards the street. Over the entrance hovers an enormous specimen of the American eagle, with outspread wings, a shield before her breast, and, if I recollect aright, a bunch of intermingled thunderbolts and barbed arrows in each claw. With the customary infirmity of temper that characterizes this unhappy fowl, she appears, by the fierceness of her beak and eye and the general truculency of her attitude, to threaten mischief to the inoffensive community; and especially to warn all citizens, careful of their safety, against intruding on the premises which she overshadows with her wings.

So has it been in my case. I felt it almost as a destiny to make Salem my home; so that the mould of features and cast of character which had all along been familiar here—ever, as one representative of the race lay down in his grave, another assuming, as it were, his sentry-march along the Main Street— might still in my little day be seen and recognized in the old town. Nevertheless, this very sentiment is an evidence that the connection, which has become an unhealthy one, should at last be severed.

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