Deep River

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New Directions Publishing, 1996 - Fiction - 216 pages
4 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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Deep river

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A trip to India becomes a journey of discovery for a group of Japanese tourists playing out their "individual dramas of the soul." Isobe searches for his reincarnated wife, while Kiguchi relives the ... Read full review

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Deep River is a very well written book with timeless characters that everyone can relate to despite the differences in cultural background. I enjoyed reading it and thinking about the questions it brought up in my mind.

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ONE The Case of Isobe
THREE The Case of Mitsuko
FOUR The Case of Numada
Six The City by the River
SEVEN Goddesses
EIGHT In Search of What Was Lost
NINE The River
TEN The Case of Otsu
ELEVEN Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs
THIRTEEN He Hath No Form Nor Comeliness

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About the author (1996)

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.

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