(Author) (Translator)
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Product Details
$27.95  $25.99
Dalkey Archive Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 2.2 inches | 2.25 pounds

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About the Author

Otohiko Kaga (1929-2023), one of Japan's few Christian writers, worked as a hospital and prison psychiatrist before becoming a novelist. His studies in France inspired his 1967 debut novel, Furandoru no fuyu (Winter in Flanders), for which he received the Minister of Education Award for New Artists. Marshland, his second novel to be translated into English, was awarded the Osaragi Jiro Prize in 1986. In 2011, Kaga was recognized as a Person of Cultural Merit.

Albert Novick was born in New York City in 1948. He served in the United States Air Force and attended San Francisco State University. He studied Japanese at the Waseda University Language Research Institute, then graduated from Meiji University and received a master's degree in sociology from Saitama University. He was a columnist and reporter for English- and Japanese-language newspapers. For the past thirty years, he has been a freelance writer and translator.

"The result of Kaga's effort is a sprawling indictment of modern society's modes of organizing bodies and labor...Here's where the novel's length works well, as the repetition of experiences with institutionalization becomes analogous to the repetitive nature of the experiences themselves. Kaga's examination of the lives of dozens of prisoners, characters both major and minor in his sweeping drama, is some of the most powerful and compassionate writing of the novel. His criticism of the criminal justice system of mid-century Japan could just as well have been written about the United States today, and Anglophone readers interested in the subject will find Kaga's work here highly rewarding, though it is quite divorced from the racial conditions that underlie the prison-industrial complex in the United States...Readers interested in a brilliant, high-definition portrait of postwar Japan will find little to compare to this that is readily available in the English language." --Jack Rockwell, Words Without Borders