An autobiographical novella recounting the move towards reconciliation between a father and son; translated for the first time in English
Reconciliation, published here for the first time in the English language, is an understated masterpiece of the Japanese ‘I novel’ tradition (a confessional literary form). Naoya Shiga’s novella is a quietly devastating reflection on all kinds of reconciliation: from his own familial reunion, to the universal need to reconcile ourselves to the inevitability of ageing, loss and death.
“Naoya Shiga’s engaging and finely wrought novella of birth, death, illness and a writer’s angst opens a window onto a society and milieu that are both distant and relatable. Watching the autobiographical protagonist trip over his flaws as a husband and son is painful, but the resolution still lifts the heart a century after publication. Ted Goossen’s nuanced rendition of this miniature classic is a marvel of the translator’s art and a service to the Republic of Letters”
See more reviews
”Praise for Naoya Shiga: [Shiga wrote] a number of short stories that are nearly perfect in their simplicity, directness and mastery of subject matter”
new York Times
Naoya Shiga (1883-1971) was Japan’s most celebrated practitioner of shishosetsu, or autobiographical fiction, the genre that dominated Japanese literature for much of the twentieth century; during his lifetime he was described as the ‘god of prose’.
Ted Goossen has translated or co-translated five works by Haruki Murakami; he is editor of The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories (which includes his translation of Shiga’s story ‘Takibi’) and co-editor of Monkey Business magazine, featuring the best of contemporary Japanese literature.