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Dandelions Paperback – December 12, 2017

4.1 out of 5 stars 5 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“Yasunari Kawabata's final novel Dandelions is a treasure, unfinished due to the author's sad death, but remarkably whole and deeply gorgeous. A woman named Ineko is quietly committed to a mental institution in a placid small town, and afterwards, her beloved, Kuno, and Ineko's mother discuss illness, fate, karma, death, suffering, and marriage. There's so much pleasure in these conversations, and the urgency and familial frictions of the present occasion lend a lovely intimate realism to the philosophizing. Inez's affliction, "body blindness," seems part of a curious exploration of trauma. As in Kawabata's Palm of the Hand stories, this novel rings with echoes of past tragedy, and the language is richly pleasurable and imagistic. Certain lines haunt like poetic refrains: "Married couples can accommodate all kinds of peculiar things," "A bell isn't a body," and "To enter the Buddha world is easy, to enter the world of demons is difficult."”
- Gini Balibrera, Literati Bookstore

“Kawabata's novels are among the most affecting and original works of our time.”
- New York Times Book Review

“A novel about absences, the near impossibility of human connection, the imperfect yet overpowering nature of memory, and the shortcomings of sight. Dandelions intrigues as an unfinished work.”
- Will Harrison, The Hudson Review

“If we read Dandelions not as an unfinished masterpiece but as a work in dialogue with the themes of love, desire, and the language beyond language, it feels not broken off but rather open to possibility, trembling with the potential for interpretation. Rather than longing for what lies beyond the final page, we can turn our attention to what has already been presented, however mysteriously, and consider it from different perspectives, as one turns a faceted crystal under a light.”
- Larissa Pham, The Nation

“Yasunari Kawabata’s lusciously peculiar novel Dandelions was unfinished when he took his life in 1972. It’s a story of love and loss and mania, told in sparse, arresting prose.”
- The Paris Review, The Paris Review

“Kawabata’s novels are among the most affecting and original works of our time.”
- The New York Times Book Review

“There are few other writers who could invoke such a lasting memory of a single image with so few words.”
- San Francisco Chronicle

“A literary habitat like no other―quietly devastating fiction. Behind a lyrical and understated surface, chaotic passions pulse.”
- The Independent (London)

About the Author

Best known in the West for such novels as Snow Country, Beauty and Sadness, and A Thousand Cranes, Yasunari Kawabata was born in Osaka in 1899. In 1968 he became the first Japanese writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Michael Emmerich is an associate professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California. He is the author of “The Tale of Genji”: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature and the translator of numerous books from the Japanese.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
  • Paperback : 128 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780811224093
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0811224093
  • Product Dimensions : 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Publisher : New Directions (December 12, 2017)
  • Language: : English
  • ASIN : 0811224090
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 5 ratings