Asian literature never seizes to amaze me. Although a big fan of Haruki Murakami, another good Japanese writer got into my attention a few days ago: Kenzaburo Oe and his ‘A quiet life’.
It tells the story of a normal Japanese family, with 3 children, where nothing out of the ordinary happens, everything is in its right place and things are calm and quiet. But on the inside, in the mind of each of the characters there is the storm. With a father going through a mid-life crisis (deciding to leave his family and go to the US), with an epileptic son and with a daughter who tries to cope with her brother’s epilepsy and include him in a normal society, this book shows the psychology of a family trying to communicate and stick together.
What I like the most about Japanese writers and about Kenzaburo as well is the way they manage to build simple stories, which at the beginning have absolutely nothing new to tell you, but which, by the end of the book, manage to surprise you with events that sometime seem too unreal to actually take place in this world.