Translated by Deborah Boliver Boehm
Published by Atlantic Books
For the first time in his long life, Nobel laureate Kogito Choko is suffering from writer's block. The book that he wishes to write would examine the turbulent relationship he had with his father, and the guilt he feels about being absent the night his father drowned in a storm-swollen river. But how to write about a man he never really knew? When his estranged sister unexpectedly calls, she offers Choko a remedy – she has in her possession an old and mysterious red trunk, the contents of which promise to unlock the many secrets of the man who disappeared from their lives decades before.
Kenzaburō Ōe is considered one of Japan's leading post-war writers, and has won almost every major international honour including the 1989 Prix Europalia and the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature. He lives in Tokyo.
Deborah Boliver Boehm lost herself in Zen as an exchange student travelling Japan in the 1960s, and recorded her experience in A Zen Romance: Once Woman’s Adventure in a Monastery. She has also written a collection of modern retellings of Japanese folklore in Ghost of a Smile: Stories. Along with her writing, Deborah has translated Akimitsu Takagi’s The Tattoo Murder Case and The Changeling by Kenzaburō Ōe.