The Silent Cry

The Silent Cry

Paperback - 2016
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The Silent Cry follows two brothers who return to their ancestral home, a village in densely forested Western Japan. After decades of separation, the reunited men are each preoccupied by their own personal crises. One brother grapples with the recent suicide of his dearest friend, the birth of his disabled son, and his wife's increasing alcoholism. The other brother sets out to incite an uprising among the local youth against the disintegration of the community's culture and economy due to the imposing franchise of a Korean businessman nicknamed the "Emperor of the Supermarkets". Both brothers live in the shadow of the mysteries surrounding the untimely deaths of their older brother and younger sister, as well as their great-grandfather's political heroism. When long-kept family secrets are revealed, the brothers' strained bond is pushed to its breaking-point and their lives are irrevocably changed. Considered Oe's most essential work by the Nobel Prize committee, The Silent Cry is as powerfully relevant today as it was when first published in 1967.
Publisher: New York :, Grove Press,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©1974
ISBN: 9780802124784
Branch Call Number: FIC OE
Characteristics: 394 pages ; 21 cm


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Jun 18, 2018

This was a book that helped its author, Kenzaburo Oe, win a Nobel Prize. I had real difficulty reading it at first, although it got easier in the last third of the book. The novel details the conflict between two adult brothers in Japan in the early 1960s and how their conflict is intertwined with the family history--or what they each understand to be the family history--dating back to 1860. Set in a rural area of Shikoku, the story has one brother organizing what amounts to a cult to encourage local villagers to rise up against a Korean-run supermarket. Perhaps this book would be better if I read it again. Or not.

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