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  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407064512
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

The Master of Go




A haunting, elegiac work from Yasunari Kawabata, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, with an introduction by Liza Dalby, bestselling author of Geisha.

Go is a game of strategy in which two players attempt to surround each other's black or white stones. Simple in its fundamentals, infinitely complex in its execution, it is an essential expression of the Japanese sensibility. And in his fictional chronicle of a match played between a revered and invincible Master and a younger, more progressive challenger, Yasunari Kawabata captured the moment in which the immutable traditions of imperial Japan met the onslaught of the twentieth century.

The competition between the Master of Go and his opponent, Otaké, is waged over several months and layered in ceremony. But beneath the game's decorum lie tensions that consume not only the players themselves but their families and friends - tensions that turn this particular contest into a duel that can only end in one man's death. Luminous in its detail, both suspenseful and serene, The Master of Go is an elegy for an entire society, written with the poetic economy and psychological acumen that brought Kawabata the Nobel Prize for Literature.

  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407064512
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

About the author

Yasunari Kawabata

Yasunari Kawabata, winner of the 1968 Nobel Prize for Literature, was one of Japan's most distinguished novelists. Born in Osaka in 1899, he published his first stories while he was still in high school. Among his major novels published across the world are Snow Country (1956), Thousand Cranes (1959), The Sound of the Mountain (1972), and Beauty and Sadness (1975). Kawabata was found dead, by his own hand, in 1972.

Yasunari Kawabata was born near Osaka in 1899 and was orphaned at the age of two. His first stories were published while he was still in high school and he decided to become a writer. He graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1924 and a year later made his first impact on Japanese letters with Izu Dancer. He soon became a leading figure the lyrical school that offered the chief challenge to the proletarian literature of the late 1920s. His writings combine the two forms of the novel and the haiku poems, which within restrictions of a rigid metre achieves a startling beauty by its juxtaposition of opposite and incongruous terms. Snow Country (1956) and Thousand Cranes (1959) brought him international recognition. Kawabata died by his own hand, on April 16 1972.

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Praise for The Master of Go

Kawabata's narrative spirals through the book's events in ruminative glides and turns... There is a kind of low-key daring, an austere, autumnal nobility, in Kawabata's tale

Time

An archetypal saga... there are storms and landscapes as cool, as luminous, as any in Japanese paintings and woodcuts

The New Yorker

This novel is one of modern literature's greatest, most poignant elegies

Washington Post

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