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The Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda - A Novel - cover

The Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda - A Novel

Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo

Publisher: She Writes Press

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Summary

As he stumbles through an afterlife he never believed in, scientist Kenzaboro Tsuruda must make sense of his life and confront his family’s secrets in order to save his ancestors from becoming Hungry Ghosts—a Buddhist state of purgatory. Meanwhile, his daughter, wife, and sister-in-law struggle with their own loss and take turns sharing their point of view to gradually reveal their family’s shameful history—including when, during WWII, Kenzaboro sent his wife, Satsuki, to live with family near Hiroshima, where her rape by his brother resulted in the birth of their only child, Haruna. 

Spanning the years during WWII and its horrific ending after the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima up to Emperor Hirohito’s death in 1989, The Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda paints a beautiful and haunting portrait of ancient and modern Japan as seen through the eyes of one family as they reconcile loss, shame, honor, death, and, finally, redemption.

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