With vast psychological acuity and an unblinking insight into the nature of political and domestic warfare, Yukio Mishima creates a portrait of a marriage in which lofty principles clash fatally with appetite and ambition. For years Kazu has run her fashionable restaurant with a combination of charm and shrewdness. But when the middle-aged entrepreneur falls in love with one of her clients, an aristocratic retired politician, she renounces her business in order to become his wife.In time, however, the restless Kazu decides to resurrect her husband's political career. In doing so, she embarks on a series of compromises and evasions that will force her to choose between her marriage and the demands of her irrepressible vitality. With its subtle ambiguities and its complex, vibrant heroine, After The Banquet is a magnificent novel.
About the Author
Yukio Mishima was born into a samurai family and imbued with the code of complete control over mind and body, and loyalty to the Emperor - the same code that produced the austerity and self-sacrifice of Zen. He wrote countless short stories and thirty-three plays, in some of which he acted. Several films have been made from his novels, including The Sound of Waves; Enjo which was based on The Temple of the Golden Pavilion; and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea. Among his other works are the novels Confessions of a Mask and Thirst for Love and the short-story collections Death in Midsummer and Acts of Worship.
The Sea of Fertility tetralogy, however, is his masterpiece. After Mishima conceived the idea of The Sea of Fertility in 1964, he frequently said he would die when it was completed. On November 25th, 1970, the day he completed The Decay Of The Angel, the last novel of the cycle, Mishima committed seppuku (ritual suicide) at the age of 45.
"Kazu is the biggest and most profound thing Mishima has done so far in an already distinguished career" * New Yorker * "His most novelistic work, with a degree of earthiness and warmth rare in his fiction" * New York Times * "Japan's foremost man of letters" * Spectator * "Direct yet allusive, poetic...an amazing feat" * Atlantic *