[Sketches of Kaitan City]
Shōgakukan (Shōgakukan Bunko), 2010. 320 pp. ¥700. ISBN 978- 4-09-408556-3.
Also published in: n/a
The young man who is laid off from the coal mine. The junior high school student who skips school and wanders around town alone. The streetcar operator nearing retirement age. The bare-chested sailor who bursts into a bar late one night in the middle of winter. The office worker addicted to horse racing. Through the figures of such people, who have no connection to each other apart from living in the same town, this novel makes us clearly aware of the smell of the ocean and the light of the northern country that pervades their lives, and it brings into bold relief the truth of life’s preciousness.
The author committed suicide before this book was published. Although this is a novel that uncovers the profound sadness and despair held by common people, it is also a tale in which signs of hope shine brightly in many places—just like the “diamond dust” that breathes luminous life into the mountains in winter. Additionally, the 2010 film adaptation, directed by Kumakiri Kazuyoshi, has been praised as a masterpiece that preserves the flavor of the original work. (NK)
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