The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa

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University of California Press, 2005 - Fiction - 231 pages
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"Freedman and Richie bring to the non-Japanese reading public the chance to read a heretofore untranslated work by Nobel-prizewinner Yasunari Kawabata, one of Japan's most famous modern authors. The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa is a revealing recreation of the rough and racy atmosphere of Tokyo called Asakusa during the late 1920s and early 30s, and it is quite different from notions of aestheticized Japan often associated with Kawabata's other work. The translator is to be commended for turning an idiosyncratic and difficult text into compelling English."--Liza Dalby, author of Geisha

"Kawabata is an important writer in world literature, best known for delicate, sometimes other-worldly novels like Snow Country. The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa shows another side of the writer, which is experimental and most definitely of this world. Nevertheless, one can see aspects of the novelist--especially his relationship to women and their (in his eyes) short-lived physical beauty--which would be developed and refined in his later work. The book also evokes aspects of urban Japan at the end of the 1920s better than anything else I have read. Donald Richie's introduction is a great asset to the book."--Theodore W. Goossen, editor of The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories
 

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The Scarlet gang of Asakusa

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Nobel laureate Kawabata wrote this work in 1930, when Japanese literature was heavily influenced by European fiction's great modernists, among them Joyce, Proust, and Rilke. For 80 years it has been ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972) won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1968. His 1937 novel Snow Country secured his position as one of Japan's leading authors. Alisa Freedman is a visiting assistant professor of Japanese literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Donald Richie--novelist, critic, essayist, travel writer, and former director of the Japanese cinema collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York--is author of The Films of Akira Kurosawa.

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