The Last Samurai

May 31, 2016|
The Last Samurai by Helen Dewitt
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Helen DeWitt’s 2000 debut,The Last Samurai, was “destined to become a cult classic” (Miramax). The enterprising publisher sold the rights in twenty countries, so “Why not just, ‘destined to become a classic?’” (Garth Risk Hallberg) And why must cultists tell the uninitiated it has nothing to do with Tom Cruise?

Sibylla, an American-at-Oxford turned loose on London, finds herself trapped as a single mother after a misguided one-night stand. High-minded principles of child-rearing work disastrously well. J. S. Mill (taught Greek at three) and Yo Yo Ma (Bach at two) claimed the methods would work with any child; when these succeed with the boy Ludo, he causes havoc at school and is home again in a month. (Is he a prodigy, a genius? Readers looking over Ludo’s shoulder find themselves easily reading Greek and more.) Lacking male role models for a fatherless boy, Sibylla turns to endless replays of Kurosawa’s masterpieceSeven Samurai. But Ludo is obsessed with the one thing he wants and doesn’t know: his father’s name. At eleven, inspired by his own take on the classic film, he sets out on a secret quest for the father he never knew. He’ll be punched, sliced, and threatened with retribution. He may not live to see twelve. Or he may find a real samurai and save a mother who thinks boredom a fate worse than death.

Author of The Last Samurai and Lightning Rods, Helen Dewitt knows, in descending order of proficiency, Latin, ancient Greek, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Arabic, Hebrew, and Japanese: ''The self is a set of linguistic patterns,'' she said. ''Reading and speaking in another language i...
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Title:The Last Samurai
Format:Paperback
Product dimensions:576 pages, 8 X 5.2 X 1.4 in
Shipping dimensions:576 pages, 8 X 5.2 X 1.4 in
Published:May 31, 2016
Publisher:New Directions Publishing
Language:English
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9780811225502

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