A True Novel
by Minae Mizumura
translation by Juliet Winters Carpenter
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To say that Minae Mizumura's A True Novel is a remake of Wuthering Heights set in postwar Japan is not inaccurate, but this only begins to crack open the book. Like the Emily Brontë classic, Mizumura's novel follows an impoverished boy who is haunted by his impossible love for a wealthy but wild girl, and who tries to heal himself by amassing a suspect fortune. But while Brontë wrote at a time when the novel was still a relatively new art form—young enough to be shimmering invention—Mizumura is writing in the dying light. This book, oddly compelling in its confluence of intellect and emotion, is her attempt to deal with the loose ends.
Born in Tokyo, Mizumura grew up in Great Neck, New York, and studied French at Yale. Her essay "Renunciation," on Paul de Man, published soon after the literary critic's death, is
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