The Emissary

The Emissary

Book - 2018
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Japan, after suffering from a massive irreparable disaster, cuts itself off from the world. Children are so weak they can barely stand or walk: the only people with any get-go are the elderly. Mumei lives with his grandfather Yoshiro, who worries about him constantly. They carry on a day-to-day routine in what could be viewed as a post-Fukushima time, with all the children born ancient--frail and gray-haired, yet incredibly compassionate and wise. Mumei may be enfeebled and feverish, but he is a beacon of hope, full of wit and free of self-pity and pessimism. Yoshiro concentrates on nourishing Mumei, a strangely wonderful boy who offers "the beauty of the time that is yet to come."A delightful, irrepressibly funny book, The Emissary is filled with light. Yoko Tawada, deftly turning inside-out "the curse," defies gravity and creates a playful joyous novel out of a dystopian one, with a legerdemain uniquely her own.
Uniform Title: Kentoshi. English
Publisher: New York : New Directions Books, [2018]
Characteristics: 138 pages ; 21 cm
Language Note: Translated from the Japanese
ISBN: 9780811227629 (acid-free paper)
Call Number: FICTION TAWADA

Opinion

From Library Staff

A quiet sort of apocalypse here. Japan has cut itself off from the rest of the world and its children are so poisoned that they are so weak they can barely stand. The only people to take care of them are their grandparents, who just seem to get mysteriously more spry.

Work in Translation (2018). You've heard the comments . . . America is too insular . . . too interested in hearing its own voice to give any time to foreign work . . . This inaugural award speaks back to that. And this book is a fascinating first choice.


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