A Personal Matter (Kojinteki na taiken)
I very much admire Mr. Oe not just for this book but for his entire literary treasure he left behind, for his sincerity, for his noble feelings and dedication to his family. I would also like to honor his wife, her creativity in understanding her children. Inspiring in his incredible modesty.
/Dr. Arta Lucescu-Boutcher, United States
Oe presents a grotesque imagery of the Character while leaving his character perfect.
/Agape Joy Gepollo, Philippines
I love his work because my life can relate to the difficulties of facing the reality of having a love one in disability or pain. The stages of fierce denial and rage until the acceptance of the pluralistic world bites into the heart. Every event and every emotion is true and painful. After reading his work it has changed my life, with humble judgement of accepting and moving on into my life. No matter how difficult it is.
The book is about a japanese middle-class man who's becoming father. But his child's handicapped, its brain is too big for its head, if it survives it'll have a "vegetable existence". The man crashes in a deep crisis, leaves the unknowing mother alone in the hospital, visits an old girlfriend, falls in to alcohol and despare (the baby isn't human for him, so he doesn't name it "he", his child is always the neutral "it"). Totally plunged down, desperate and broken he tries to think about his baby, wants to kill it, thinks about his/its future, loses all his self-confidence. Neglected and demoralized, he's at the dark mercy of the unconscious waves of his sticking out, unfiltered emotions. But in the decisive very last moment, he acts in the only right way, meets his responsibility. [I've read it also when didn't prefer the topic before, and was inspired, because it's a book about living and surviving in a modern cruel world.] A great book about a difficult sensitive topic, worth every word, with many inter and intra textuell references; a praise of humanity in the extremes and limits of beeing human.
A Quiet Life
One of the most-astonishing books I've ever seen. He takes an interesting question: "What if this person had NOT been born into my family?" - and then really explores it in great detail. Very entertaining, and i.m.o. contains much wisdom. Also a perfect example of why he won the Nobel Prize. in my opinion. A short but well-worthwhile read.
/Tim Rigney, United States