Ground Zero, Nagasaki: Stories

Hardcover | December 23, 2014

byYuichi SeiraiTranslated byPaul Warham

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Set in contemporary Nagasaki, the six short stories in this collection draw a chilling portrait of the ongoing trauma of the detonation of the atomic bomb. Whether they experienced the destruction of the city directly or heard about it from survivors, the characters in these tales filter their pain and alienation through their Catholic faith, illuminating a side of Japanese culture little known in the West. Many of them are descended from the "hidden Christians" who continued to practice their religion in secret during the centuries when it was outlawed in Japan. Urakami Cathedral, the center of Japanese Christian life, stood at ground zero when the bomb fell.

In "Birds," a man in his sixties reflects on his life as a husband and father. Just a baby when he was found crying in the rubble near ground zero, he does not know who his parents were. His birthday is set as the day the bomb was dropped. In other stories, a woman is haunted by her brief affair with a married man, and the parents of a schizophrenic man struggle to come to terms with the murder their son committed. These characters battle with guilt, shame, loss, love, and the limits of human understanding. Ground Zero, Nagasaki vividly depicts a city and people still scarred by the memory of August 9, 1945.

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Set in contemporary Nagasaki, the six short stories in this collection draw a chilling portrait of the ongoing trauma of the detonation of the atomic bomb. Whether they experienced the destruction of the city directly or heard about it from survivors, the characters in these tales filter their pain and alienation through their Catholi...

Seirai Yuichi is a novelist from Nagasaki. He is the author of Jeronimo no jujika (Geronimo's Cross), which won the Bungakukai Prize for New Writers. He also won the Akutagawa Prize for Seisui (Holy Water) and the Ito Sei Literary Prize and the Tanizaki Jun'ichiro Prize for Bakushin (Ground Zero, Nagasaki).Paul Warham is a translator ...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:December 23, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231171161

ISBN - 13:9780231171168

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NailsStoneInsectsHoneyShellsBirds

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Seirai makes Nagasaki the vibrant city we know it is from the historical past, and peoples it with a cast of contemporary characters whose voices are loud and clear.