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Dispatch: 23 January 2017
Castaways: Two Short Novels/Ibuse, Masuji/Paper/4770017448/S047-B2
Japan's Modern Writers
Based strictly on historical fact, the longer of these two stories is the tale of an illiterate boy from a remote fishing village in southern Japan, whose boat is blown off course in a storm. Rescued by a Yankee whaling ship, he is taken off to see a world far wider than his fellow countrymen could ever have imagined, and after years abroad - via the goldfields of California and Hawaii - he returns home in triumph.
"A cold, clean wind blows through his historical fiction. Only a few Western writers - Marguerite Yourcenar and Janet Lewis, for example - present history so plainly and imaginatively, and with such scrupulous adherence to the fact that history was once alive." - Donald Richie in The Japan Times.
"Economy of phrase and controlled subtlety of narrative." - Booklist.
"His stories have a brilliance and humour which are unforgettable." - Times Literary Supplement.
"Ibuse's books are lit up by the patterns and designs of an acute visual sense." - Economist.