Looking at this book as being about a generation as whole is not really the way to get a complete picture of it nor of the statement it makes.
The Setting Sun presents a Japan that has lost its sense of identity as its population tries to pick up the pieces after the end of the second world war. It is a setting that has the sense of being in flux, but not in a positive way.
The story is one that has been told so many times, but it’s one that has long withstood the test of time. In fact, it’s hard to believe that A Christmas Carol is nearly 200 years old.
They are clothbound and beautiful with the perfect size of margins and type. Both books nestle into a sturdy slipcase with gold type and a full colour illustration of Sawyer tricking one of his peers into doing his chore for him, painted by Norman Rockwell.
The Middle Parts of Fortune was published anonymously in 1929, only to be censored and re-issued as Her Privates We in 1930. I’m always on the lookout for good fiction around WWI, so I was excited to find this book on one of our trips to a small used bookstore for my birthday a few months ago.
When I think about the reader I am now and what influences guided me to become so interested in literature, I inevitably remember this book. It was one of the books I carefully preserved when I grew up. It still sits on my bedside table as an adult.
It’s surprising that her name seems mostly lost to time — like the grand majority female writers of the Victorian era. What makes it more of a tragedy in Oliphant’s case is that her work is quite good — even better than a lot of writers whose names I’ve seen on the more mainstream ghost story anthologies.
Tišma makes death a haunting presence, coming in and out of focus, receding and approaching. It is always there and always palpable, and is never far away.
I was gifted Charlotte M Yonge’s writing because she had such a presence for other writers. She was thought of so highly among her contemporaries.
To describe Abe’s The Face of Another as a horror novel would only be scratching the surface of what it truly delivers.