Minako Oba: Of Birds Crying
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274pp. November 2011
Of Birds Crying
Author: Oba, Minako; Translator: Wilson, Michiko N.; Wilson, Michael K.;
Of  Birds Crying (Naku tori no, 1985), the recipient of the Noma Bungei Prize, is loosely based on the author’s own life, recounting six months in the lives of Yurie Mama, a well-established middle-aged novelist married to Shōzō, a scientist. In this deeply psychological novel, a tapestry of extraordinary moments expands and interconnects via interior monologues and dialogues ranging from the humorous and farcical to the somber and meditative. Acutely perceptive social and cross-cultural commentaries fill the narrator’s voice and the characters’ conversations. Long-forgotten incidents come back to life, triggered by the sight of an ancient tree, the name of a flower, or the crying of a bird, and memories spawn tales within tales. Despite the fact that the characters’ motives for their actions defy prediction, these seemingly disparate elements are woven into a coherent whole, a reflection of the interdependency of humanity and nature in its wholeness that is one of the many underlying threads of the story.

Cornell East Asia Series #160
Distributed for Cornell University East Asia Program
Author: Oba, Minako; Translator: Wilson, Michiko N.; Wilson, Michael K.;



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