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An Artist of the Floating World (Vintage International) (Paperback)

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This book has everything I love about Ishiguro’s novels -- trenchant moral commentary, nefarious undertones, and an unreliable (yet unnervingly sympathetic) narrator. Ono, a retired artist living in 1948 Japan, is just beginning to settle into his post-war life. However, he continues to grapple with the nature of his art during the war, one which was fixated on the ephemerality of the “floating world” - that is, Japanese nightlife. Ono is a disarming character, one who exists in the greys of moral quandaries that represent how someone of his generation deals with their involvement in war. A lovely book that touches on thorny questions.

— From Joel's Picks


From the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and author of the Booker Prizewinning novel The Remains of the Day
In the face of the misery in his homeland, the artist Masuji Ono was unwilling to devote his art solely to the celebration of physical beauty. Instead, he put his work in the service of the imperialist movement that led Japan into World War II.

Now, as the mature Ono struggles through the aftermath of that war, his memories of his youth and of the "floating world"—the nocturnal world of pleasure, entertainment, and drink—offer him both escape and redemption, even as they punish him for betraying his early promise. Indicted by society for its defeat and reviled for his past aesthetics, he relives the passage through his personal history that makes him both a hero and a coward but, above all, a human being.

About the Author

Kazuo Ishiguro is the 2017 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. His work has been translated into more than 40 languages. Both The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go have sold more than 1 million copies, and both were adapted into highly acclaimed films. Ishiguro's other work includes The Buried Giant, Nocturnes, A Pale View of the Hills, and An Artist of the Floating World.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780679722663
ISBN-10: 0679722661
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: September 19th, 1989
Pages: 208
Language: English
Series: Vintage International