One of Ishiguro's earlier works and the one that made me read all the rest. Like his later novels, this book guides the reader through a worried but ordinary mind in extraordinary circumstances. An aging and pensive Japanese artist kneads his faulty memory to recollect and justify his life and decisions before and during WWII. Put some time aside to read this one slowly and well!
— From Michelle
From the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and author of the Booker Prize
-winning novel The Remains of the Day
In the face of the misery in his homeland, the artist Masuji Ono was unwilling to devote his art solely to the celebration of physical beauty. Instead, he put his work in the service of the imperialist movement that led Japan into World War II.
Now, as the mature Ono struggles through the aftermath of that war, his memories of his youth and of the "floating world"--the nocturnal world of pleasure, entertainment, and drink--offer him both escape and redemption, even as they punish him for betraying his early promise. Indicted by society for its defeat and reviled for his past aesthetics, he relives the passage through his personal history that makes him both a hero and a coward but, above all, a human being.