Kenzaburo Oe was born in 1935 in the remote mountain village of Ose on Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's four main islands. The winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Literature, he is considered one of the most dynamic and revolutionary writers to have emerged in Japan since World War II. Kenzaburo is known for his powerful accounts of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and his struggle to come to terms with a mentally handicapped son. His dark musings on moral failure came to symbolize an alienated generation in postwar Japan. His influences and literary heroes are less Japanese than American and European, ranging from Henry Miller to Jean-Paul Sartre, from Blake to Camus.
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