Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eric Paul Shaffer's Favorite Japanese Novelists

Which Japanese novelists would you recommend to our readers?

Dazai (especially The Setting Sun and No Longer Human, both of which acknowledge a side of Japanese culture I glimpsed but that is often unacknowledged and for his stark lyricality) Öe (for the same reasons), Sōseki (for his crazy inventiveness, humor, and honest portrayal of Japanese culture), and Akutagawa (for Kappa, a charming novel). Oddly, I find the work of H. Murakami, the popular contemporary Japanese author, interesting but a bit plodding compared to the more intricate yet lighter, though deeper, work of these others.


Anonymous said...

I read The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, and it was excellent. It's not a good dissertation on Japanese culture, but it is a good book by a Japanese author (relocated to England).

Another is Kawabata, Nobel prize winner. I have only read The Master of Go.

Reckless said...

I enjoyed Kawabata's Snow Country, too.

I also have a great respect for Ariyoshi and her The Doctor's Wife.

Best, Eric Paul Shaffer