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Plum Rains and Other Stories

Plum Rains and Other Stories

John Givens

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It's Japan. The last decade of the 17th century. Men who lived by the sword find themselves without a vocation while women begin to confront new opportunities and threats hitherto unimaginable. The austere demands of the haikai poet are no match for the new popularity of urban performers, and the medieval samurai ethos has been replaced by that of the merchant and the shogun's bureaucrats. This colourful but remote world is portrayed in these stories.

Japan's greatest poet Basho features in several of them. We also meet young 'peony girls' who yearn for a life outside the pleasure quarters; a rogue samurai who seeks solace in wine, in the supposed serenity of haikai poetry, in the rigours of Zen Buddhism, and finally in his own acceptance of the impossibility of regaining the past. Another, more murderous samurai evolves into what modern yakuza gangsters see as their historical essence.

A mysterious 'daughter of the palace' struggles with an unbearable remorse; a senior government official seeks to preserve Basho's poetic legacy; a teenage sociopath tries to carve out his own career by cutting a bloody swathe across the landscape; and, a bizarrely preternatural pariah supervisor brings his own understanding of things with surprising and sometimes horrifying results. "The Plum Rains and Other Stories" brings to life a uniquely beautiful and violent world.

Additional Information

Author John Givens
Publisher Liffey Press
Publication date 5 Mar 2010
Format Hardback
ISBN/EAN 9781905785766

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