The Makioka Sisters (Vintage International) (Paperback)
Recommended by: Heidi & Michael
Set in Pre World War II Japan, this novel follows the lives of the titular characters. It’s a sweeping portrait of an aristocracy grappling with modernity that features the ins and outs of family dynamics, scandalous love affairs, natural disasters, the coming war and so much more. You’ll be sucked in before you know it.— From Staff Picks
Junichirō Tanizaki’s magisterial evocation of a proud Osaka family in decline during the years immediately before World War II is arguably the greatest Japanese novel of the twentieth century and a classic of international literature.
Tsuruko, the eldest sister of the once-wealthy Makioka family, clings obstinately to the prestige of her family name even as her husband prepares to move their household to Tokyo, where that name means nothing. Sachiko compromises valiantly to secure the future of her younger sisters. The shy, unmarried Yukiko is a hostage to her family’s exacting standards, while the spirited Taeko rebels by flinging herself into scandalous romantic alliances and dreaming of studying fashion design in France. Filled with vignettes of a vanishing way of life, The Makioka Sisters is a poignant yet unsparing portrait of a family—and an entire society—sliding into the abyss of modernity. It possesses in abundance the keen social insight and unabashed sensuality that distinguish Tanizaki as a master novelist.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Junichiro Tanizaki was born in Tokyo in 1886 and lived there until the earthquake of 1923, when he moved to the Kyoto-Osaka region, the scene of his novel The Makioka Sisters (1943-48). Among his works are Naomi (1924), Some Prefer Nettles (1928), Quicksand (1930), Arrowroot (1931), A Portrait of Shunkin (1933), The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi (1935), modern versions of The Tale of Genji (1941, 1954, and 1965), Captain Shigemoto's Mother (1949), The Key (1956), and Diary of a Mad Old Man (1961). By 1930 he had gained such renown that an edition of his complete works was published, and he was awarded Japan's Imperial Prize in Literature in 1949. Tanizaki died in 1965.
Praise for Junichiro Tanizaki's The Makioka Sisters
“A masterpiece of great beauty and quality.” –Chicago Tribune
“Skillfully and subtly, Tanizaki brushes in a delicate picture of a gentle world that no longer exists.” –San Francisco Chronicle