First Snow on Fuji Paperback – 12 Oct 2000
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About the Author
Yasunari Kawabata, winner of the 1968 Novel Prize for Literature, was one of Japan's most distinguished novelists. Born in Osaka in 1899, he published his first stories while he was still in high school. He graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1924. His story "The Izu Dancer," first published in 1925, appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1955. Among his major novels published in the United States are Snow Country (1956), The Master of Go (1972), and Beauty and Sadness (1975). Kawabata was found dead, by his own hand, in 1972.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Some of the stories seem better than others, but they all kind of stand out. I really enjoyed 'Nature', it was simply marvelous. 'This Country, That Country' was another standout as was 'Chrysanthemum in the Rock'. Oh and knowing what a 'stupa' is really helps - it's a Buddhist burial 'heap' as it is literally translated, but often more of a mound like structure containing the ashes (and often other relics) of the deceased.
I've often had trouble really getting into his novels, though in the end I've felt rewarded, but Kawabata's short stories are magical. This is an amazing collection. And also check into his true short story collection: Palm-of-the-Hand Stories. The stories in this collection range from 1 to 4 pages and are amazing. Truly I feel Kawabata's strength was in the short story.
This collection also includes a rarity, a drama by Kawabata, which comes across as incredibly flat, wooden, and dull. It seems that drama was not a medium suited to him, although perhaps the play works well when actually performed--many a Kabuki play looks lame on paper but comes alive on the stage. But as it stands it seems an awkward ending to an otherwise fine collection of stories. This is not Kawabata at his best, but quite good still.