The Dancing Girl of Izu and Other Stories by Yasunari Kawabata
One of the most influential figures in modern Japanese fiction, Yasunari Kawabata is treasured for the intensity of his perception and the compressed elegance of his style. This new collection includes twenty-two stories now appearing in English for the first time in book form. Written between 1923 and 1929, these short fictions form a shadow biography of the author's early years, and provide fresh glimpses of Kawabata's haunting and haunted vision. Born in 1899, Kawabata committed suicide at age seventy-two. Throughout his life he was concerned with themes of loss, longing, and memory. His childhood was repeatedly shaken by deaths in the family - first his parents when he was three, then a grandmother, an older sister, and finally the blind grandfather he cared for in his early adolescence. These personal losses linger as motifs in such remarkable stories as "Gathering Ashes" and "The Master of Funerals." The stark physical details of caregiving - suffused with edgy resentment and desperate fear - are remembered in "Diary of My Sixteenth Year." In addition to the twenty-two stories unknown to American readers, this collection features the first translation of the complete text of the classic "Dancing Girl of Izu." This unforgettable story portrays the tender anxiety of a young man whose brooding fascination with a pubescent girl nudges him along the path toward adulthood.