An Echo of Heaven by Kenzaburō Ōe

By Kenzaburō Ōe

From Nobel Prize winner Oe comes the tale of Marie Kuraki, a jap lady with a grin like Betty Boop's, who has develop into a saint to a bunch of Mexican farm employees. even if Marie is an unbeliever looking for non secular peace, she embarks on a trip brought on via a sequence of private tragedies, together with the deaths of her husband and sons.

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First, about the American writer she was studying. With the caution and reserve that literary scholars often show toward writ­ ers, she had never actually mentioned the name of the author she specialized in, but when I asked her if the things she'd said that caused so much trouble with the Mothers' Union that day weren't based on her literary research, she took the initiative a nd began to talk. "I thought about it afterward, and now I think I know why I made everyone so angry. There I was, talking away, and now I'm not sure how well I understood the passage I was basing my argu­ ment on.

One day, Sand took her children down the steep mountain road into the village on some errand or other, and was caught in a bad storm. When their carriage could go no further, they left it, and got home late that night, soaked to the skin. I can't read French, so what I quote here is itselfa translation: We were hurrying because we knew our patient would worry. Hi's anxiety had been acute, to be sure, but by now it hadfrozen into calm despair, and, weeping, he was playing 54 a marvelous prelude.

She said, laughing. I laughed as well to show her I agreed. It seemed to me that the problem was already half solved. Being a recording engineer, the young man from the television station must have dreamed of taping himself and his older lover in bed. But his fear of her catching him at it must have been j ust as strong. When Marie refused to see him any more, he was no doubt seething with thoughts of revenge, and wished he had made the recording after 36 all. And then he'd found this 'peeper's tape,' with the voices of an older woman and her young lover ("Twenty-three-that's youth for you").

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