Personal Matter

ISBN-10: 0802150616

ISBN-13: 9780802150615

Edition: 1969

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Description: Oe's most important novel, A Personal Matter, has been called by The New York Times "close to a perfect novel." In A Personal Matter, Oe has chosen a difficult, complex though universal subject: how does one face and react to the birth of an abnormal child? Bird, the protagonist, is a young man of 27 with antisocial tendencies who more than once in his life, when confronted with a critical problem, has "cast himself adrift on a sea of whisky like a besotted Robinson Crusoe." But he has never faced a crisis as personal or grave as the prospect of life imprisonment in the cage of his newborn infant-monster. Should he keep it? Dare he kill it? Before he makes his final decision, Bird's entire past seems to rise up before him, revealing itself to be a nightmare of self-deceit. The relentless honesty with which Oe portrays his hero -- or antihero -- makes Bird one of the most unforgettable characters in recent fiction.

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Book details

List price: $13.00
Copyright year: 1969
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/13/1994
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 214
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

John Nathan is the author of the definitive biography of the novelist Yukio Mishima & has translated the novels of both Mishima & the Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe into English. He is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker & lives in Santa Barbara, California.

A winner of numerous Japanese literary prizes, Oe came to manhood during World War II and the occupation. In college, he studied Jean-Paul Sartre and absorbed many popular leftist ideas. These influences appear in his early writings, which often deal with contemporary issues. With the birth of his deformed son, father and son became the new focus of his work. A blend of the personal and the political, rendered by a powerful and poetic imagination, continues to distinguish Oe's work.

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