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The Great Passage by [Miura, Shion]
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Length: 224 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From the Editor

“A dictionary is a ship that crosses the sea of words” is the mission statement driving a team of editors toward their goal in this award-winning, uplifting novel. Before I read The Great Passage, I had never imagined that a dictionary could inspire a deep emotional connection, but I quickly saw my own passion reflected in the passion of these characters and hungrily turned the pages to see how dedication to this lofty vision would change their lives.

An editor facing retirement, Araki must pass on his life’s work to the next generation. The dictionary he began will one day be a ship so sturdy and well-built it can cross even the roughest seas—carrying as cargo not only the obvious meanings of a common word like “dog,” but also all the connotations and variations in usage, however surprising (why would the word for man’s best friend also be used negatively as in “a dog’s death” or “you dog”?). After hearing his new boss’s impassioned pitch for Sea of Words, promising young recruit Majime is honored to take over and humbled by the challenge. By exploring the complexity of even the most unassuming of words, Majime discovers—as he grows into a good man, falls in love, and enjoys a fulfilling career—that richness and beauty are offered by the simpler things in life.

And by the end of this magnificent book, which follows the long timeline of the dictionary’s creation, I found myself celebrating the ease of making connections. We can find one another—across a sea of language, culture, or ideology—through words, defined for all of us by a shared point of reference, like a sturdy dictionary, forged for the earnest purpose of bringing us together.

- Gabriella Page-Fort, Editor

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Editorial Reviews

Review

An Earphones Award Winner, Fiction

“Swirling with witty enchantment, The Great Passage proves to be, well, utterly great. Readers should be advised to get ready to sigh with delighted satisfaction and awe-inspiring admiration.” Booklist (starred review)

The Great Passage has a philosophy of thoughtfulness and dedication to words that any reader will understand…Miura’s prose—and Carpenter’s translation—glides along, smooth and precise, with flashes of quiet poetry.” Metropolis

About the Author

Shion Miura, the daughter of a well-known Japanese classics scholar, started an online book-review column before she graduated from Waseda University. In 2000, she made her fiction debut with Kakuto suru mono ni mar (A Passing Grade for Those Who Fight), a novel based in part on her own experiences during her job hunt. In 2006, she won the Naoki Prize for her linked-story collection Mahoro ekimae Tada Benriken (The Handymen in Mahoro Town). Her other prominent novels include Kaze ga tsuyoku fuiteiru (The Wind Blows Hard), Kogure-so monogatari (The Kogure Apartments), and Ano ie ni kurasu yonin no onna (The Four Women Living in That House). Fune o amu (The Great Passage) received the Booksellers Award in Japan in 2012 and was developed into a major motion picture. She has also published more than fifteen collections of essays and is a manga aficionado.

Juliet Winters Carpenter attended the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Tokyo. Her first translated book, Kobo Abe’s Mikkai (Secret Rendezvous), received the Japan-US Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. In 2014, more than three decades later, Honkaku shosetsu (A True Novel), by Minae Mizumura, received the same award, as well as the Lewis Galantière Prize of the American Translators Association. Carpenter’s other translations—more than fifty—include nearly every genre of fiction and nonfiction, as well as film subtitles and song lyrics. A professor at Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto, Carpenter has lived in Japan since 1975. She’s licensed to teach the Japanese instruments koto and shamisen and sings alto in the Kyoto City Philharmonic Chorus. She and her husband divide their time between Kyoto and Whidbey Island, Washington.


Product details

  • File Size: 3523 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1477823077
  • Publisher: AmazonCrossing (June 1, 2017)
  • Publication Date: June 1, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MAVRCW8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,944 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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