December 6, 2023 | Rome, Italy

A Pale View of Hills

By |2018-03-21T18:27:57+01:00March 24th, 2006|Recent Reviews|

By Kazuo Ishiguro

Faber and Faber, 1982 (2005). 183 pages.


shiguro’s debut novel is all pastels and light pencil. Melancholy Etsuko, who lives in Britain, gets a visit from her surviving daughter (the other committed suicide). Ishiguro then retraces post-war Nagasaki, evoking errant patriotism and the moral consequences of occupation. To wit: Sachiko, Etsuko’s odd friend, can’t decide if she’s proud or ashamed of her involvement with an American officer; Ogata-San, Etsuko’s father-in-law and a former teacher, seeks out a critic to tell him: “We have lost the war, but that’s no reason to ape the ways of the enemy.” Competing cultures irritate but never clash; it’s that abrasion Ishiguro probes with care.

About the Author:

The Book Staff represents a series of authors who review books for the magazine on a regular basis.