by Kenzaburō Ōe ; translated from the Japanese by Kuniaki Yanagishita with William Wetherall
Kenzaburo Oe is one of the most original and important writers of your time, and nowhere is his genius more evident than in A Quiet Life -- an uncanny blend of the real with the imagined, of memoir with fiction. A Quiet Life is narrated by Ma-chan, a young woman who at the age of twenty gets caught up in an unusual family situation. 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.