Translated by Lane Dunlop and J. Martin Holman [via]
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968, Yasunari Kawabata is perhaps best known in the United States for his deeply incisive, marvelously lyrical novel Snow Country. But according to Kawabata himself, the essence of his art was to be found in a series of short stories-which he called "Palm-of-the-Hand Stories"-written over the entire span of his career. He began experimenting with the form in 1923 and returned to it often. In fact, his final work was a "palm-sized" reduction of Snow Country, written not long before his suicide in 1972. Dreamlike, intensely atmospheric, at times autobiographical and at others fantastical, these stories reflect Kawabata's abiding interest in the miniature, the wisp of plot reduced to the essential. In them we find loneliness, love, the passage of time, and death. Palm-of-the-Hand Stories captures the astonishing range and complexity of one of the century's greatest literary talents.