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Sora ni mizuumiの表紙画像

LIVES IN TOKYO AND THE REGIONS

Sora ni mizuumi

[The Lake in the Sky]

By Saeki Kazumi

Chūōkōron Shinsha, 2015. 512 pp. ¥960. ISBN 978-4-12-206611-3.

Also published in: n/a

“Recently, I have been looking up at the sky more often.” The author, who lives in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, began writing his “I-novel” three full years after the Great East Japan Earthquake. A middle-aged couple, Hayase and Yuzuko, slowly resume their quiet quotidian routines, immersing themselves in this restoration several times each day as they consider from the vantage of their housing complex veranda the animals and plants they live together with under the same sky. Once this feeling comes upon them as they lie in bed listening to the cries of a hawk- owl. It happens to Yuzuko when she is in the kitchen pickling rakkyō onions and again when she joins a birdwatching excursion. By sharing moments in which they can repeat their activities of the previous year, the two attempt to move forward with their lives.

    They did not suffer directly; their house was not washed away in the tsunami and they were not forced to evacuate by the nuclear accident. The couple, however, still avoids conversation about the disaster with their close neighbors. They do not engage in easy banter about their future hopes. This illustrates how deeply the wounds are buried within Tōhoku people who went through the events of March 11.

    They now cherish the everyday world. The firm belief that this is the only place human happiness can be found is a theme infusing this novel throughout its pages. (OM)
Sora ni mizuumiの表紙画像
Saeki Kazumiの著者画像

By Saeki Kazumi

Saeki Kazumi

Born in Miyagi Prefecture in 1959. Awarded the Kaien Prize for New Writers for “Ki o tsugu” [Grafting Trees] in 1984, the Noma Prize for New Writers for Shōto sākitto [Short Circuit] in 1990, the Mishima Yukio Prize for A rūsu bōi [A Loose Boy] in 1991, the Osaragi Jirō Prize for Tettō kazoku [Steel Tower Family] in 2004, the Noma Prize for Literature for Noruge [Norge] in 2007, the Mainichi Art Award for Kaerenu ie [No Home to Return To], the Itō Sei Prize for Literature for Watarase in 2014, and the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts for Sengaiki .

Translation rights inquiries

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