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Inheritance from Mother: A Novel
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Other Press 2017
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Description
Award-winning novelist Minae Mizumura demystifies the notion of the selfless Japanese mother and the adult daughter honor-bound to care for her. Mitsuki Katsura, a Japanese woman in her mid-fifties, is a French-language instructor at a private university in Tokyo. Her husband, whom she met in Paris, is a professor at another private university. He is having an affair with a much younger woman. In addition to her husband's infidelity, Mitsuki must deal with her ailing eighty-something mother, a demanding, self-absorbed woman who is far from the image of the patient, self-sacrificing Japanese matriarch. Mitsuki finds herself dreaming of the day when her mother will finally pass on. While doing everything she can to ensure her mother's happiness, she grows weary of the responsibilities of a doting daughter and worries she is sacrificing her chance to find fulfillment in her middle age. Inheritance from Mother not only offers insight into a complex and paradoxical culture, but is also a profound work about mothers and daughters, marriage, old age, and the resilience of women.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/02/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781590517833
ASIN:
B01JWDZSSE
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Minae Mizumura. (2017). Inheritance from Mother: A Novel. Other Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Minae Mizumura. 2017. Inheritance From Mother: A Novel. Other Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Minae Mizumura, Inheritance From Mother: A Novel. Other Press, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Minae Mizumura. Inheritance From Mother: A Novel. Other Press, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:55:07
Date Updated:
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      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Mizumura, Minae
      • bioText: Minae Mizumura is one of the most important writers in Japan today. Born in Tokyo, she moved with her family to Long Island, New York, when she was twelve. She studied French literature at Yale College and Yale Graduate School. Her other novels include the Yomiuri Prize–winning A True Novel, Zoku meian (Light and Dark Continued),a sequel to the unfinished classic Light andDark by Soseki Natsume, and Shishosetsufrom left to right (An I-Novel from Left to Right), an autobiographical work. Her most recent book in English, The Fall of Language in the Age of English, was published in 2015 by Columbia University Press. She lives in Tokyo.
        Juliet Winters Carpenter studied Japanese language and literature at the University of Michigan and the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies inTokyo. Carpenter's translation of Kobo Abe's novel Secret Rendezvous won the 1980 Japan–United States Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Litera-ture, and her translation of Minae Mizumura's A True Novel won the same prize for 2015–2016, making her the only person to have won this prestigious award twice.
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shortDescription
Award-winning novelist Minae Mizumura demystifies the notion of the selfless Japanese mother and the adult daughter honor-bound to care for her.

Mitsuki Katsura, a Japanese woman in her mid-fifties, is a French-language instructor at a private university in Tokyo. Her husband, whom she met in Paris, is a professor at another private university. He is having an affair with a much younger woman.

In addition to her husband's infidelity, Mitsuki must deal with her ailing eighty-something mother, a demanding, self-absorbed woman who is far from the image of the patient, self-sacrificing Japanese matriarch. Mitsuki finds herself dreaming of the day when her mother will finally pass on. While doing everything she can to ensure her mother's happiness, she grows weary of the responsibilities of a doting daughter and worries she is sacrificing her chance to find fulfillment in her middle age.

Inheritance from Mother not only offers insight...
isOwnedByCollections
True
title
Inheritance from Mother
fullDescription
Award-winning novelist Minae Mizumura demystifies the notion of the selfless Japanese mother and the adult daughter honor-bound to care for her.

Mitsuki Katsura, a Japanese woman in her mid-fifties, is a French-language instructor at a private university in Tokyo. Her husband, whom she met in Paris, is a professor at another private university. He is having an affair with a much younger woman.

In addition to her husband's infidelity, Mitsuki must deal with her ailing eighty-something mother, a demanding, self-absorbed woman who is far from the image of the patient, self-sacrificing Japanese matriarch. Mitsuki finds herself dreaming of the day when her mother will finally pass on. While doing everything she can to ensure her mother's happiness, she grows weary of the responsibilities of a doting daughter and worries she is sacrificing her chance to find fulfillment in her middle age.

Inheritance from Mother not only offers insight into a complex and paradoxical culture, but is also a profound work about mothers and daughters, marriage, old age, and the resilience of women.
sortTitle
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Washington Post
      • content: "A must-read novel about the tangled bonds of motherhood...gorgeous and intimate."
      • premium: False
      • source: Wall Street Journal
      • content: "Mizumura craftily mixes the old with the new, creating a highly readable throwback to popular dime novels that replaces gilt with guilt and romance with real talk."
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Review of Books
      • content: "Mizumura's realism embraces family dynamics and bodily decline, both of which are anatomized without a hint of sentimentality...[She] depicts the ordeals of middle age with intelligence and empathy...[Readers] will find in Mizumura a fascinating example of how a writer can be at the same time imaginatively cosmopolitan and linguistically rooted."
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times Book Review
      • content: "There is admirable ambition in the way Mitsuki's story expands into a much larger portrait of middle-class anomie in a Japan still reckoning with its past and the paradoxes--and fraught compromises--of its identity."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "[A] compelling exploration of family history and its impact on relationships and traditions."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Rumpus
      • content: "Mizumura endows her characters with complexity in a stunningly graceful manner...Mizumura's depiction of the relationship between eastern and western ideals is one of the most gripping aspects of the novel...her work is steeped in self-awareness, brazenly critiquing the traditional structures so integral to her history. Mizumura does not avoid diving head first into those things that leave the deepest scars: death, infidelity, and the surrendering of dreams are where she starts."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 13, 2017
        Mizumura (A True Novel) upends the paradigm of the Japanese mother-daughter relationship in this complex novel. Mitsuki and her older sister, Natsuki, both married with complicated lives, grapple with their mother Noriko’s declining health. Because she’s been a difficult, demanding, selfish mother her whole life, they look forward to her demise. Mitsuki is childless and bears the burden of their mother’s care, which is made more problematic because Noriko, now in her 80s, has always favored Natsuki. Further, Mitsuki has discovered not only a third instance of her husband’s infidelity but also that he is planning to divorce her. She takes a break from her life, staying at a renowned Hakone hotel, where, thanks to a psychic friend, one of the guests believes that someone in their midst will commit suicide. The author demonstrates that what appears calm on the surface can hide unimaginable depths of despair. In this compelling exploration of family history and its impact on relationships and traditions, Mizumura offers insight into how Japanese culture and shows how two daughters can survive the damage wrought by an onerous parent.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        March 1, 2017
        In a novel of female endurance and obligation, Mitsuki, the "semi-neglected daughter" of the Katsura family, must not only bear the lion's share of caring for her elderly parents, but must also steel herself for the failure of her marriage."She won't do us all a favor and die" is one of the many shameful but exquisitely truthful thoughts shared by the Katsura daughters, Mitsuki and Natsuki, about their mother, Noriko, in this understated anatomization of intense family feelings. Noriko, who not only favored Natsuki, but also treated the girls' father with repellent callousness when his health began to fail, has grown into a self-indulgent, demanding old woman who hangs onto existence, dominating Mitsuki's life in particular. Distinguished Japanese writer Mizumura (The Fall of Language in the Age of English, 2015, etc.) traces this agonizing phase, and all the generational circumstances and feelings prefiguring it, in the novel's first half before moving on to a more contemplative second half set in a country hotel where Mitsuki has taken refuge both to recuperate from her mother's eventual death and also, now, to confront her other preoccupation--her husband's latest infidelity and the likelihood of divorce. An "homage to the dying tradition of serial novels" according to a note at the beginning of the book, it's narrated in brief, simple chapters, the tone even and mature as it delves into the unhappiest, most intractable corners of a middle-aged woman's life and psyche. Questions about love, money, and female choices are posed amid contrasts with earlier generations of women and altered expectations following World War II. The novel has an unblinking focus which accumulates to near-claustrophobic proportions, yet the decisions finally made by Mitsuki arrive with a persuasive sense of late-life liberation. A long, minute, subtle consideration of aging, loyalty, and the bonds of love grounded in the material details of Japanese culture but resonating far beyond.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2017
        Death brings excitement . . . keen and palpable to two sisters, knowing that their mother was finally dead. Natsuki and Mitsuki aren't heartless. They're bluntly forthright in their relief after being burdened by their mother's constant needs and wants. The immediate demands as caretaker ironically distract younger sister Mitsuki from the disintegration of her marriage to a philandering husband. A financial inheritance amplifies the sisters' sense of freedom, especially for Mitsuki, a part-time translator and language teacher, who pragmatically narrates acclaimed Japanese writer Mizumura's (A True Novel, 2013) latest novel, adroitly translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter. Originally serialized in Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun (201011), this is an homage to the dying tradition of serial novels, most notably Ozaki Koyo's late-nineteenth-century classic, The Golden Demon, and Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary; serialization understandably accounts for narrative repetition here. Mizumura revealed in a New York Times op-ed that her own filial frustrations inspired Inheritance. As increasing longevity continues to challenge parent-child relationships, Mizumura deftly, albeit shockingly, explores fraying bonds, disgruntled entitlement, and the ever-elusive quest to be happy.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

subtitle
A Novel
popularity
361
publisher
Other Press
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