Shiga, Naoya

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    Naoya Shiga, the master of Japanese ‘I fiction’, was encouraged by acclaimed novelist Soseki Natsume to serialise an account of Shiga’s feud with his father in the Asahi newspaper, but he repeatedly failed to deliver. Soseki suggested, ‘Why not write a novel about being unable to write?’. In ‘Reconciliation’, Shiga does just that, writing about failed or abortive creative works, while also fictionalising the long-running dispute with his father. The novella is a masterpiece of Shiga’s characteristically understated style and a quietly devastating reflection on all kinds of reconciliation: from him own familial reconciliation, to the universal need to reconcile ourselves to the inevitability of ageing, loss and death.