ARCHIVED ONLINE EVENT - Japan Society Book Club: The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda
Monday 12 April 2021
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Free for Japan Society Members
The activities of the Japan Society are made possible thanks to the support of its members. This event is free of charge and open to all. We realise that this is a difficult time for many people. However, if you are planning to attend and do not have a membership subscription as an individual or through your employer, please consider making a donation. You can find details of membership and how to join the Japan Society community here.
The Aosawa Murders begins in the 1960s in a town on the coast of the Sea of Japan, when 17 people die of cyanide poisoning at a party given by the owners of a prominent clinic. The only person spared injury is Hisako, the physician's bewitching blind daughter. Hisako and a cryptic verse that could be the killer's are the only surviving links to what might have happened. That October, the youth who emerges as the prime suspect commits suicide, effectively sealing his guilt while consigning his motives to mystery. The Aosawa Murders takes the classic elements of the mystery genre but rather than putting them together in the usual way, it provides a multi-voiced insight into the psychology of contemporary Japan, with its rituals, pervasive envy and ever so polite hypocrisy. But it’s also about the nature of evil and the resonance and unreliability of memory.
Read our review of The Aosawa Murders.
Riku Onda is the professional name of Japanese writer Nanae Kumagai. Onda has won the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers, the Japan Booksellers' Award, the Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Best Novel, the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize, and the Naoki Prize. Her work has been adapted for film and television.
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