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July 31 , 2010

Last Winter We Parted


Instantly reminiscent of the work of Osamu Dazai and Patricia Highsmith, Fuminori Nakamura’s latest novel is a dark and twisting house of mirrors that philosophically explores the violence of aesthetics and the horrors of identity.

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Aging and Life-Prolonging Processes

There is an Inca incantation which stated said roughly: "Lord, give me spiritual peace so that I can acquiesce to what I cannot change, give me courage so that I can change what I can change, and give me wisdom so that I can distinguish one from the other. " Obviously, this incantation can be regularly repeated by any gerontologist, since it is…

A young writer arrives at a prison to interview a convict. The writer has been commissioned to write a full account of the case, from the bizarre and grisly details of the crime to the nature of the man behind it. The suspect, a world-renowned photographer named Kiharazaka, has a deeply unsettling portfolio—lurking beneath the surface of each photograph is an acutely obsessive fascination with his subject.

He stands accused of murdering two women—both burned alive—and will likely face the death penalty. But something isn’t quite right. As the young writer probes further, his doubts about this man as a killer intensify, and he struggles to maintain his sense of reason and justice. Is Kiharazaka truly guilty, or will he die to protect someone else?

Evoking Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and Ryūnosuke Akutagawa’s “Hell Screen,” Last Winter, We Parted is a twisted talea that asks a deceptively sinister question: Is it possible to truly capture the essence of another human being?

From the Hardcover edition.
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