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Personal Matter/Oë, Kenzaburo/Paper/0330344358/S055-A1
In this, his most famous book, Oë examines the devastation, fear and shame of fathering a brain-damaged child. The central character is Bird, a frustrated intellectual in a failing marriage, who dreams of an escape to Africa. The magnitude of bird's disappointment at the birth of his baby reveals itself through his alcoholism, sexual exploits and attempts to destroy his own innocent and powerless son, until finally he realizes that he must take responsibility not only for the child, but also for himself. "He creates an imagined world where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today." - Nobel Prize Citation.