The 2018 National Book Award winners
were announced last night!
Learn more about the five winning books…
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”0811227626″ locale=”US” src=”https://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/312k72BPlbuL.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”217″] The Emissary:
Trans by. Margaret Mitsutani
Paperback: New Directions, 2018
Buy Now: [ [easyazon_link identifier=”0811227626″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ] [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B0745KTKFK” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]
Yoko Tawada’s new novel is a breathtakingly light-hearted meditation on mortality and fully displays what Rivka Galchen has called her “brilliant, shimmering, magnificent strangeness”
Japan, after suffering from a massive irreparable disaster, cuts itself off from the world. Children are so weak they can barely stand or walk: the only people with any get-go are the elderly. Mumei lives with his grandfather Yoshiro, who worries about him constantly. They carry on a day-to-day routine in what could be viewed as a post-Fukushima time, with all the children born ancient―frail and gray-haired, yet incredibly compassionate and wise. Mumei may be enfeebled and feverish, but he is a beacon of hope, full of wit and free of self-pity and pessimism. Yoshiro concentrates on nourishing Mumei, a strangely wonderful boy who offers “the beauty of the time that is yet to come.”
A delightful, irrepressibly funny book, The Emissary is filled with light. Yoko Tawada, deftly turning inside-out “the curse,” defies gravity and creates a playful joyous novel out of a dystopian one, with a legerdemain uniquely her own.
*** READ the NY Times Review of this novel
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com