Yasuoka Shotaro and Literary Memory in Japan
For a long period, Yasuoka was at the center of the Japanese literary establishment, serving on prize committees and winning the major literary prizes of the era: the Akutagawa, the Noma, the Yomiuri, and the Kawabata. But what makes Yasuoka fascinating as a writer is the way that he consciously, deliberately resisted accepted narratives of modern Japanese history through his approach to personal and collective memory.
In Enduring Postwar, the first literary and biographical study of Yasuoka in English, Kendall Heitzman explores the element of memory in Yasuoka's work in the context of his life and evolving understanding of postwar Japan.
"Heitzman's close readings of Yasuoka's early fiction and nonfiction, his analysis of the impact the South had on subsequent writing, and his involvement in another of the writer's passions, film, show clearly how 'Yasuoka's work to endure the postwar has helped ensure that the postwar will endure.' Enduring Postwar will be of interest to scholars of Japan and the American South."
—Davinder Bhowmik, University of Washington
"The erudition of this study distinguishes it from many books in the field of Japanese literature and cultural history. Heitzman writes with a very impressive grasp of the full sweep of modern Japanese literary and cultural history. It is worth noting that his style is clear, concise, and largely jargon-free."
—James Dorsey, Dartmouth College