Deep River

Front Cover
New Directions Publishing, 1994 - Fiction - 216 pages
21 Reviews
Thirty years lie between the leading contemporary Japanese writer Shusaku Endo's justly famed Silence and his powerful new novel Deep River, a book which is both a summation and a pinnacle of his work. The river is the Ganges, where a group of Japanese tourists converge: Isobe, grieving the death of the wife he ignored in life; Kiguchi, haunted by wartime memories of the Highway of Death in Burma; Numanda, recovering from a critical illness; Mitsuko, a cynical woman struggling with inner emptiness; and butt of her cruel interest, Otsu, a failed seminarian for whom the figure on the cross is a god of many faces. Bringing these and other characters to vibrant life and evoking a teeming India so vividly that the reader is almost transported there, Endo reaches his ultimate religious vision, one that combines Christian faith with Buddhist acceptance.
  

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Review: Deep River

User Review  - Linda - Goodreads

I found this to be a powerful book. The four main characters each have intriguing back stories and travel to India searching for freedom from grief and emptiness. Isobe, in a typical Japanese marriage ... Read full review

Review: Deep River

User Review  - Meghan Krogh - Goodreads

Summary A collection of characters from Japan wend their way through the trials of their lives, and converge spiritually and physically on a trip to India to visit the sacred Ganges. Initial Thoughts ... Read full review

Contents

ONE The Case of Isobe
28
THREE The Case of Mitsuko
69
FOUR The Case of Numada
84
Six The City by the River
104
SEVEN Goddesses
127
EIGHT In Search of What Was Lost
148
NINE The River
169
TEN The Case of Otsu
182
ELEVEN Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs
190
THIRTEEN He Hath No Form Nor Comeliness
205
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About the author (1994)

Shusaku Endo was born in Tokyo in 1923 and, with his family, converted to Catholicism while he was still a child. Much of his writing centers on the conflict this conversion engendered as he struggled to develop faith in a deity foreign to Japanese culture. His writings also reflect on his experiences during World War II during the bombings and the subsequent shortage of basic human necessities for the Japanese people. He explores the suffering endured and the inevitable shock wave upon human relationships and the human psyche. Endo graduated from Keio University and then journeyed to France after the war to continue his studies, but was forced to return to Japan because of illness. After a period of convalescence Endo decided on a writing career, publishing his first novel, Shiroihito, in 1955. His novel The Samurai, published in the United States in 1996, is considered one of his finest works. Endo's reputation is due in part to his exploration of moral dilemma as it relates to divergent cultures. Endo has won many literary awards. In 1982 he was elected to the Japan Arts Academy. Shusaku Endo died in 1996.

J. Thomas Rimer is emeritus professor of East Asian languages and literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of several works, including "Traditions in Modern Japanese Fiction: An Introduction" and "A Reader's Guide to Japanese Literature,"

Van C. Gessel is professor of Japanese literature at Brigham Young University. He is the author of "Three Modern Novelists: Soseki, Tanizaki, Kawabata" and coeditor of "The Showa Anthology: Modern Japanese Short Stories,

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