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The Samurai’s Garden

June 2, 2010

My brother is a freshman in college, which means that he gets to read all sorts of awesome books for his classes.  I’m really looking forward to the Japanese literature class he’s taking in the fall since I plan to read along the syllabus with him.  Like our own personal dorky family book club.  Anyway…

While at my parent’s house this past weekend, I was going through the books they were clearing out from their bookshelves and sifting through some of the books my brother had brought home with him from college.  A few would be great to donate to the Prison Book Program, so I set those aside.  I grabbed a few for myself and am excited to get started on them.  One is The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama, which is described on Goodreads as:

On the eve of the Second World War, a young Chinese man is sent to his family’s summer home in Japan to recover from tuberculosis. He meets four local residents – a lovely young Japanese girl and three older people. What then ensues is a tale that readers will find at once classical yet utterly unique. Young Stephen has his own adventure, but it is the unfolding story of Matsu, Sachi, and Kenzo that seizes your attention and will stay with you forever. Tsukiyama, with lines as clean, simple, telling, and dazzling as the best of Oriental art, has created an exquisite little masterpiece.

The storyline looks promising, so I’m interested to see what it has to offer.  I’m a big fan of Asian literature (I have a huge crush on Murakami) and I always find the culture and history in the novels to be so interesting.  I can’t wait for my brother to get the syllabus for his Japanese literature class – I’m hoping there are some new great authors on the list.  What’s your favorite work by an Asian author?

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 4, 2010 10:56 am

    I’m more of an Asian film fan than literature, but one book I really enjoyed was Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. In short, it’s the story of a group of schoolchildren forced to battle to the death on an island until there’s one survivor. The story’s kind of vague on the reason behind this, but you get the idea that it’s some sort of government program. It’s gory, unrelenting, and severely demented, but it’s also suspenseful and well-written. The themes and story kind of blend together Lord of the Flies and Stephen King’s The Long Walk. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but if you’re a freak like me I say, enjoy!

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