Cover image for Rain in the wind : four stories
Rain in the wind : four stories
Maruya, Saiichi, 1925-2012.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Yokoshigure. English
First edition.
Publication Information:
Tokyo ; New York : Kodansha International, [1990]

Physical Description:
234 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Translation of: Yokoshigure.
The gentle downhill slope -- I'll buy that dream -- Tree shadows -- Rain in the wind.

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Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Four stories--three short and one rather longer--introduce the American audience who has read the Japanese author's novel Singular Rebellion (Kodansha, 1986) to Maruya's talent in shorter fiction narratives. Postwar Japan is atmospherically depicted in these tales, and many of the characters are young people attempting to deal with their new present and with the past. This conflict is particularly evoked in the title piece, in which the narrator investigates his father's relationship with a poet before the war; what he discovers in his research forms a chilling personal and historical analogy. One warning: the translation is often full of British idioms that may jar American readers. --John Brosnahan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Despite their competent translation, these four stories probably work better for a Japanese readership than for Americans. Maruya ( Singular Rebellion ) echoes Borges and Pirandello in ``Tree Shadows'' with a narrator who, preoccupied with trees' shadows, spins a tale about a grand old man of letters beset by the same obsession and by a half-mad woman who may be his mother. It's a strained parable that also satirizes Japan's overdose of Western culture. In the novella that gives the book its title, a college professor finds in a volume of haiku clues to his deceased father's possible encounter with an alcoholic itinerant poet in pre-war Japan. His sleuthing casts light on Japan's fascist past and turns up his father's dark secret, but his hair-splitting saps the reader's interest. ``I'll Buy That Dream,'' about a fibbing Ginza bargirl, and ``The Gentle Downhill Slope,'' in which a student indulges in a brothel spree, are bantering, facile allegories on the fragmentary quality of life. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved