Maki Kashimada: 六〇〇〇度の愛 (Love at Six Thousand Degrees)

The latest addition to my website is Maki Kashimada‘s 六〇〇〇度の愛 (Love at Six Thousand Degrees). This is something of a Japanese response to the film Hiroshima mon amour, scripted by Marguerite Duras, about a French woman who has an affair in Hiroshima with a Japanese man whose relatives were killed by the atom bomb. In this novel an unnamed Japanese woman suddenly leaves her son and husband to head to Nagasaki when there is a fire alarm in her building. There she will have a desultory affair with a half-Russian, half-Japanese man, visit the sights of Nagasaki including those relating to the atom bomb, ruminate on her brother who was an alcoholic who killed himself after he gave up drinking and whom she and her mother both adored, discuss with her lover their common Orthodox Christianity and wonder about the purpose of her life (as he does about his). The fact that this happy woman had come to this land captivated by an image of a mushroom cloud was something that had to be forgotten she concludes but can it ever be forgotten?

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