Kawabata Yasunari's first artistic medium was painting, a fact perhaps reflected in his writing's masterful and evocative juxtaposition of imagery. One of Japan's finest novelists, he writes of memories and desires and the intensity of the immediate. His prose is intended to richly suggest more than it declares. For all of his talent and success, Kawabata does not appear to have been a happy man. Knowledgeable in the classics and in Buddhism, he felt a sense of loss and impermanence, as if this world held no particular place for him. Kawabata committed suicide without leaving a word of explanation.
Shiga Naoya was born in 1883. Throughout his long life (he died in 1971) and after, he has remained for Japanese people one of the most revered of all modern writers. His most widely known novel is A Dark Night's Passing.Lane Dunlop is winner of the Japan-U. S. Friendship Award for Literary Translation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Academy Award in Literature. He is cotranslator of Kawabata Yasunari's Palm-of-the-Hand Storiesand the translator of several books, including Nagai Kafï¿½'s During the Rains & Flowers in the Shade: Two Novellas.