The Sound of the Mountain


By Yasunari Kawabata

cover image of The Sound of the Mountain

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From the Nobel Prize-winning writer and acclaimed author of Snow Country comes a beautiful rendering of the predicament of old age—about an elderly Tokyo businessman who must face the failures of his memory and the sudden upsurges of passion that illuminate the end of a life. 

“A rich, complicated novel.... Of all modern Japanese fiction, Kawabata’s is the closest to poetry.” —The New York Times Book Review

By day Ogata Shingo, an elderly Tokyo businessman, is troubled by small failures of memory. At night he associates the distant rumble he hears from the nearby mountain with the sounds of death. In between are the complex relationships that were once the foundations of Shingo’s life: his trying wife; his philandering son; and his beautiful daughter-in-law, who inspires in him both pity and the stirrings of desire. Out of this translucent web of attachments, Kawabata has crafted a novel that is a powerful, serenely observed meditation on the relentless march of time.
Translated from the Japanese by Edward G. Seidensticker

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The Sound of the Mountain