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The Snow Fox: A Novel (original 2004; edition 2005)
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393326527, Paperback)"A spare, subtle, moving love story that builds and sustains its own utterly believable world."—Elizabeth Ward, Washington Post Book World
One thousand years ago, chaos loosed itself upon Japan, upending an era in which the arts flourished. At the dawn of 250 years of civil war, in the opulent court of Lord Norimasa, the beautiful but cruel poet Lady Utsu wages war with men's hearts and holds the fearsome lord and his devoted samurai Matsuhito in her thrall. As the two men raze Japan's landscape in futile battles for unity, Utsu falls for Matsuhito even as Lord Norimasa continues to love her.
The epic romance of Utsu and Matsuhito resumes itself decades later, when they meet as vagrants so transformed by time that they no longer recognize each other; they are reunited through their mystical connection to a pair of snow foxes that are their only company in the Japanese wilderness. The heartbreaking story of their renewed love is fraught by the Japanese concept of mono no aware—life's ephemeral nature—that weighs on the lovers. Reading group guide included.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 21 Apr 2011 12:14:48 -0400)
"Is one's fate created by the people one is lucky or unlucky enough to love? The Snow Fox raises this question as it brings to life three people who existed almost one thousand years ago in Japan. One of them is Lord Norimasa, whose highest love is to reunify his country and restore peace. The second is a member of his court, Lady Utsu, one of the supreme poetic geniuses of her time. She is also a woman renowned as the country's most beautiful woman, as famous for her cruelty as for her beauty and artistry. The third is Matsuhito, a samurai who apprentices himself to Lord Norimasa, and who, in time, becomes a legendary warrior." "When Matsuhito and Lady Utsu fall hopelessly in love, the lives of these three are forever changed. Separated by the warfare ravaging Japan, Matsuhito and Lady Utsu do not meet until both of them have aged so greatly that they no longer recognize each other. But when they do discover each other, their ecstatic and long-delayed reunion is shadowed by the caprices and cruelty of time, the transience of all living things, or what the Japanese call mono no aware." "The Snow Fox not only portrays a great and moving love story but also paints memorable portraits of characters at all levels of society: a man who loves to paint on skin, Shinda the resourceful bandit, the nobleman who freezes to death for love, and the eta, the untouchables who inhabit graveyards and other forbidden places. Last but not least are two remarkable foxes who in their own way, live as meaningful and influential lives as any human being."--BOOK JACKET.
(summary from another edition)
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