This classic work of world literature by the 1994 Japanese Nobel laureate is a devastating and moving blend of memoir and fiction.
An uncanny blend of the real with the imagined, of memoir with fiction, A Quiet Life is narrated by Ma-chan, a twenty-year-old woman. Her father is a famous and fascinating novelist; her older brother, though severely brain-damaged, possesses an almost magical gift for musical composition; and her mother’s life is devoted to the care of them both.
Ma-chan and her younger brother find themselves emotionally on the outside of this oddly constructed nuclear family. But when her father accepts a visiting professorship from an American university, Ma-chan finds herself suddenly the head of the household and at the center of family relationships that “are movingly illuminated” (The New York Times) through Oe’s unique and unpredictable genius.