Item description for The Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi & John Bester...
The beautiful, immature girl whom she took home to her husband was a maid only in name. Tomo's real mission had been to find him a mistress. Nor did her secret humiliation end there. The web that his insatiable lust spun about him soon trapped another young woman, and another ... and the relationships between the women thus caught were to form, over the years, a subtle, shifting pattern in which they all played a part. There was Suga, the innocent, introspective girl from a respectable but impoverished family; the outgoing, cheerful, almost boyish Yumi; the flirtatious, seductive Miya, who soon found her father-in-law more dependable as a man than his brutish son.... And at the center, rejected yet dominating them all, the near tragic figure of the wife Tomo, whose passionate heart was always, until that final day, held in check by an old-fashioned code. In a series of colorful, unforgettable scenes, Enchi brilliantly handles the human interplay within the ill-fated Shirakawa family. Japan's leading woman novelist and a member of the prestigious Art Academy, she combines a graceful, evocative style that consciously echoes the Tale of Genji with keen insight and an impressive ability to develop her characters over a long period of time. Her work is rooted deep in the female psychology, and it is her women above all-so clearly differentiated yet all so utterly feminine-who live in the memory. With The Waiting Years, a new and important literary figure makes her debut in the Western world.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 7.25" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Sep 13, 2002
Publisher Kodansha International
ISBN 477002889X ISBN13 9784770028891
Reviews - What do customers think about The Waiting Years?
Book Order Dec 19, 2007
Great service. Condition of book was stellar and it was delivered in a very timely manner.
Class material May 14, 2007
This is a mandatory read for my class but I enjoyed it. Once I started it, I could not put it down.
Step into a totally different cultural experience May 30, 2004
Not a word is wasted in this short and powerful novel covering decades in the life of the Shirakawas, a Japanese family from a century ago, and offering an intense and fascinating look into intimate relationships and suppressed emotions. .
The story begins with Yukitomo asking his wife Tomo to choose a concubine for him, someone young and inexperienced who will also serve as a maid for her. Though Tomo is not yet 30 he has already tired of her and she has become used to his appetite for many affairs, while choosing a mistress for her husband can be perceived as an insult she considers herself fortunate to have control over what woman will be brought into her home and family life. As the years go on a second concubine is acquired, geishas visit frequently, and eventually the aging Yukitomo even takes his own daughter-in-law as his mistress. Through it all Tomo is left with the management of the estate and the care of the family.
Recommended for those who are interested in marriages involving concubines.
very well written Oct 12, 2003
I read this book in two days, which is quite a record for me. It is a fascinating book, and John Bester is a very good translator.
An Eloquent Literary Masterpiece Sep 27, 2003
Upon finishing this beautifully written novel, you may experience chills down your spine from the overwhelming power you feel in the words of Fumiko Enchi. Unforgettable in its subtlety and grace, "The Waiting Years," will haunt you with its portrayal of Japanese culture. I firmly believe that Enchi is the leading female literary figure of Japan. A TIMELESS PIECE OF WORK.