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Japan Society Book Club: Beasts Head for Home by Kobo Abe

8 July — 7:00 pm


Monday 8 July 2019 7.00pm

The Japan Society
13 / 14 Cornwall Terrace
London NW1 4QP

Free for Japan Society Members
Book online here

Available from AbeBooks, Book Depository and Amazon
Japanese version available here

Beasts Head for Home is an acute novel of identity, belonging, and the vagaries of human behaviour from an exceptional modern Japanese author. It is an excellent entry point into Abe’s writing, with much of his signature tone and style. He is a master of controlling the reader’s emotional investment while crafting an increasingly suffocating atmosphere of dread, resulting in a devastating reading experience. It tells the story of Kuki Kyuzo, a Japanese young man raised in the puppet state of Manchuria. In the aftermath of World War II, Kyuzo struggles to return home to Japan, an ancestral homeland he has “only ever imagined from his textbooks”. What follows is a wild journey involving drugs, smuggling, chases, and capture.

Read our review here.

Kobo Abe (1924–1993) was one of Japan’s greatest post-war writers, widely recognized for his imaginative fiction and plays of the absurd. Following a childhood in Manchuria, he enrolled in a medical college on returning to Japan, but abandoned his career as physician to become a writer. Over the following decades Abe collected all of Japan’s major literary awards, including the Akutagawa, Yomiuri and Tanizaki Prizes. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature several times but never won. His novels often have surrealist qualities, evoking nightmarish dystopias and focusing on the dislocation of an individual from society.  A number of these novels have been adapted into films, most notably in collaboration with renowned director, Hiroshi Teshigahara.

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email events@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form.

 

Details

Date:
8 July
Time:
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:
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    The Japan Society
    13/14 Cornwall Terrace
    London NW1 4QP