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Short Synopsis
Diving into the turbulent depths of legacy and mortality, Death by Water is an exquisite examination of resurfacing national and personal trauma, and the ways that storytelling can mend political, social, and familial rifts.

Full Synopsis
Kenzaburo Oe was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for creating "an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today." In Death by Water, his recurring protagonist and literary alter-ego returns to his hometown village in search of a red suitcase fabled to hold documents revealing the details of his father's death during World War II: details that will serve as the foundation for his new, and final, novel.

Since his youth, renowned novelist Kogito Choko planned to fictionalize his father's fatal drowning in order to fully process the loss. Stricken with guilt and regret over his failure to rescue his father, Choko has long been driven to discover why his father was boating on the river in a torrential storm. Though he remembers overhearing his father and a group of soldiers discussing an insurgent scheme to stage a suicide attack on Emperor Mikado, Choko cannot separate his memories from imagination, and his family is hesitant to reveal the entire story.

"This novel...proceeds almost exclusively via conversation made up of intricate, literarily and dramaturgically knowledgeable, politically progressive, long speeches. And it is enchanting." ---Booklist Starred Review

"[I]t's vintage Oe: provocative, doubtful without being cynical, elegant without being precious." ---Kirkus

"Layered and reflexive." ---Publishers Weekly

"Boehmer uses distinct tones and emphasis to navigate the collection of Japanese names and terms." ---AudioFile
Booklist Review

Death by Water

Author Kenzaburo Oe

Narrated by Paul Boehmer

Publication date Nov 3, 2015

Running time 17 hrs

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