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  • ISBN-13: 9780889224216
  • ISBN: 0889224218
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Publisher: Talonbooks, Limited


Shimizaki, Aki, Reed, Fred A.


Tsubaki (""Camellia"" in Japanese) tells a story of betrayal and vengeance set against the nuclear blast that destroyed Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The image of the camellia, the red flower that stands out against its dark green leaves, runs through Aki Shimazaki's stark, finely-wrought novella.""At the end of the season the flowers drop, one by one, their shapes intact, corolla, stamen and pistils together. My mother would gather the flowers, still fresh, from where they had fallen, and place them on the surface of the little pool in our garden. There the crimson flowers with their yellow hearts would float for days.""Like blood-red camellias cast on still water, Aki Shimazaki's narrative unfolds through a series of death-bed letters in which Namiko's mother Yukiko reveals the truth of her grandfather's death by poison at his daughter's hand. As Tsubaki opens, Namiko's son plies his grandmother with questions about the war and the atomic bomb. With compassionate detachment she reminds him of her country's history of wartime atrocities; perhaps it was for the best that the Japanese empire was defeated. ""There is no justice,"" she tells him. ""There is only truth.""As Namiko listens while preparing mint tea, she cannot imagine that her mother has been speaking only of Japan, but of herself, of her own unavowed crime.""Was there no other solution?"" muses Namiko as she returns from the cemetery where her mother lies freshly buried. ""Did they have to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?""Perhaps all we can do, she concludes, is search out the reasons people act as they do, free of the moral judgement such a search need not necessarily imply.Spare, almost laconic in its imagery, oblique in its gaze, Tsubaki draws its power from the delicacy of understatement.Tsubaki is first in a series of five novellas, coming soon in translation from Talonbooks. Read a review of this book in January Magazine --------------------------------------------------------------------------------b004 0-88922-421-8; 15.95 Cdn / 11.95 US©2000; 128 pp--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Click here for information on how to order Talonbod104Shimizaki, Aki is the author of 'Tsubaki', published 2000 under ISBN 9780889224216 and ISBN 0889224218.

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