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"The Crazy Iris" and Other Stories (OE, Kenzaburo) [Paperback]

Kenzaburo Oe
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Sep 1994 OE, Kenzaburo
Edited by one of Japan's leading and internationally acclaimed writers, this collection of short stories was compiled to mark the fortieth anniversary of the August 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here some of Japan's best and most representative writers chronicle and re-create the impact of this tragedy on the daily lives of peasants, city professionals, artists, children, and families. From the "crazy" iris that grows out of season to the artist who no longer paints in color, the simple details described in these superbly crafted stories testify to the enormity of change in Japanese life, as well as in the future of our civilization. Included are "The Crazy Iris" by Masuji Ibuse, "Summer Flower" by Tamiki Hara, "The Land of Heart's Desire" by Tamiki Hara, "Human Ashes" by Katsuzo Oda, "Fireflies" by Yoka Ota, "The Colorless Paintings" by Ineko Sata, "The Empty Can" by Kyoko Hayashi, "The House of Hands" by Mitsuharu Inoue, and "The Rite" by Hiroko Takenishi.


Product details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press; 1st Grove Press Ed edition (21 Sep 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802151841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802151841
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 777,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
SHORTLY after Hiroshima was bombed, I was at a friend's house in the outskirts of Fukuyama looking at an iris which had flowered out of season. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great service 20 Mar 2014
By Kafka72
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Item arrived quickly and in excellent condition. Shall definitely use the seller again. The book is highly recommendable for anyone interested in Japanese history, Japanese literature and the use of nuclear weapons. Perhaps everyone who supports the use of nuclear weapons should read this book and understand what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki - perhaps such people may change their views.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Compiled by Nobel Prize winner Kenzaburo Oe, this is a collection of stories depicting the effects on various people of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The emotional, physical, and social scars are delicately and movingly presented. Some readers might find a bit too much sentimentality for their taste, but most of the stories are very strong--especially the title story, by Masuji Ibuse, who also wrote the massive novelization of the bombing of Hiroshima, "Black Rain." Since it consists of short stories and is somewhat less harrowing than "Black Rain," it serves as a good alternative.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A moving collection depicting the effects of the atomic bomb 29 Sep 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Compiled by Nobel Prize winner Kenzaburo Oe, this is a collection of stories depicting the effects on various people of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The emotional, physical, and social scars are delicately and movingly presented. Some readers might find a bit too much sentimentality for their taste, but most of the stories are very strong--especially the title story, by Masuji Ibuse, who also wrote the massive novelization of the bombing of Hiroshima, "Black Rain." Since it consists of short stories and is somewhat less harrowing than "Black Rain," it serves as a good alternative.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A personal touch to war 14 May 2007
By P Tagashira - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"The Crazy Iris" edited by Kenzaburo Oe is a collection of stories about the dropping the atomic bombs. These stories are not from a historical context or from a military standpoint, but of normal, relatable people. The stories cover the carnage seen through the eyes of a twelve year old to the memories of women going back thirty years to the high school they once attended. It also covers how the outlying villages were indirectly affected by the bombing through word of mouth and deaths of friends and families.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Listen to A.B.C.D. Reader! 5 April 2006
By W. Andrew Lewis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm writing this just to offer the opinion that A.B.C.D.'s review is biased (at best) and ultra-nationalist and revisionist (at worst).

Read this book and judge it for yourself. The various stories recount life in militarist Japan, horrifying scenes of atomic aftermath, and the desperate psychological and spiritual struggle to cope with the trauma of survival. This collection is a moving testament to its authors' experiences, but to say that it explicitly is anti-war or blames anyone for the atomic blast would not reflect the entirety of the book. The viewpoints and opinions of the authors are as varied as those of the Japanese themselves.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Point 14 May 2007
By Gill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read The Crazy Iris and Other Stories of the Atomic Aftermath by Kenzaburo Oe for an assignment in my History of Japan class. It's a collection of short stories complied to mark the fortieth anniversary of the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as the book jacket says. I am not a fan of overly flowery language (though I suspect the collection wouldn't have sounded as such in its native tongue), but the stories get the point across. The point? Everyone was affected by those weapons, no matter how old you are, what you believe, what your country thinks you should believe, and so on and so forth. I myself do believe that dropping the bombs were warranted and ultimately served their purpose, but to read the tales of survivors in compact form puts things into perspective. I wouldn't wish these sort of memories on anyone. I wouldn't wish anyone to have this pain. I hope to God that moments like Hiroshima and Nagasaki are never forgotten, and that we learn from them.
5.0 out of 5 stars The varying views of survivors 9 Mar 2012
By Kenichiro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an amazing collection of works by a variety of notable authors. The diversity of styles and experiences is refreshing and eye-opening. A must have for anyone with an interest in the impact of nuclear weapons on the human experience.
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