Book review: Les Dimanches de Monsieur Ushioda

Les Dimanches de Monsieur Ushioda

Les Dimanches de Monsieur Ushioda
by Yasushi Inoue
First published as 欅の木 in 1970
Translated from the Japanese

by Jean-François Laffont and Tadahiro Oku

317 pages
Literary fiction / Japanese literature

Les Dimanches de Monsieur Ushioda doesn’t seem to have been translated into English, so I read it in French.
It’s more light weight and humoristic than the Japanese books I usually read, so I found it just ok in its style, though the content is good and quite modern.

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Book review: Star


by Yukio Mishima
First published as スタア in 1961
Translated from the Japanese
by Sam Bett

New Directions
96 pages
Literary fiction / Novella

Star is a very interesting portrait of Rikio, a young movie star.
It gets even richer when you realize Yukio Mishima wrote this novella shortly after acting himself in “Afraid to Die”, where he played the role of a yakuza, just like Rikio in the movie he is working on. It makes for an interesting parallel with his own life – including its end.

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Book review: The Waiting Years

 The Waiting Years   Chemin de femmes  

Chemin de femmes
by Fumiko Enchi
First published as 女坂 in 1957, Translated from the Japanese into French
Anne Bayard-Sakai and Cécile Sakai
Gallimard, NFR, 1999
228 pages
The Waiting Years
translated by John Bester – Kodansha, 2002
203 pages
Historical fiction 


I didn’t find the book quickly enough in English, so I read it in its French translation. But I gave the information above to encourage you to read it in English if you can find it, as it’s really excellent.

The book is set at the end of the 19th century, near the end of the Meiji era, when feudal traditions were still alive, like here with Tomo, a high official’s wife, who serves him to the end, for the sake of the family unit. Submission to the husband was then the only way for women (as highlighted by the title in the French edition).

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