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On My Wishlist (#7) March 24, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
Tags: , ,

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It’s where we list all the books we desperately want but haven’t actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It’s also an event that you can join in with too – Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own ‘On My Wishlist’ post. If you want to know more click here.


Kabuki Dancer

by Sawako Ariyoshi

To be kabuki in Japan once meant to be outrageous, daring, flaunting convention. It was in sixteenth-century Japan, as Shakespeare was writing his masterworks half a world away, that the spirit of Kabuki theater was born out of a single woman’s passions and dedication to her art. In Kabuki Dancer, the popular Japanese novelist Sawako Ariyoshi (The Doctor’s Wife, The River Ki, The Twilight Years) retells the story of Okuni, the legendary temple dancer who first performed among jugglers and freak shows on a stage along the riverbank in the heart of the Imperial city of Kyoto. Blending the rhythms and movements of religious festivals with the words of popular love songs she and her troupe became sensations. Their affairs and rivalries, infatuations and jealousies, were transformed into the very fabric of their performance, as it began its evolution into the classic drama of today. Against a backdrop of civil war, dynastic conflict, and social turmoil, Okuni and her companions and lovers, together with their audience of artisans, merchants, and aristocrats, struggled to survive the birth pangs of a glorious – yet sometimes deadly – new age. Based on fact, transmuted into powerful and moving artistic expression, Kabuki Dancer is at once a turbulent love story, a re-creation of an exotic and colorful historical period, and an almost mythic representation of the miraculous moment in which an immortal artform appears.

I’ve always been interested in Kabuki and this book looks like a fascinating mix of history and fiction. I hope to get my hands on a copy soon!

What historical novel intrigues you?



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