The Plum Rains and Other Stories ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Givens John

The Plum Rains and Other Stories

The Liffey Press
Publication date: July 2012
ISBN: 9781908308320
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)

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Japan. The last decade of the 17th century. Men who lived by the sword find themselves cut adrift while women begin to confront new threats and opportunities. The austere demands of the haikai poet are no match for the growing popularity of urban performers, and the medieval samurai ethos has been replaced by the culture of the merchant and the shogun’s bureaucrats. This colourful but remote world is portrayed in these stories. Basho, Japan’s greatest poet, features in several of them. We also meet Ohasu, a young woman trapped in the decadence of the pleasure quarters; Hasegawa, a rogue samurai who seeks solace in wine, in the rigours of Zen Buddhism, and in his willingness to defend an outmoded code. A mysterious woman buried in an imperial nunnery struggles with an unbearable remorse; a senior shogunate official seeks to preserve Basho’s poetic legacy; a teenage sociopath tries to carve out his own career with a gratuitous and murderous assault; and a bizarrely preternatural pariah executioner accepts his destiny. Sometimes surprising, sometimes horrifying, The Plum Rains & Other Stories brings to life a uniquely beautiful and violent world. Angry and confused, they went looking for answers. They found none. There were no books to help them with the emotional upheaval they were going through. There were no explanations from the hospital as to why they had lost their baby and the counselling on offer was largely ineffective. What followed was an awkward few months where they could not grieve together and their relationship was severely strained. It was not just their relationship with each other that was affected. Family and friends who did not know how to deal with the situation also became isolated from them. Realising that communication was the key to getting through this sorrowful time, they finally started talking and found a way to get their relationship back on track. They also found that if they spoke honestly and openly to family and friends, they could get those relationships back as well. Knowing that other couples who have lost a baby would be going through similar difficulties, they decided to write down their experience in an effort to help them. Their beautifully written and poignant story, dealing with an issue that is too rarely acknowledged and discussed openly, is one of complete and heart-rending honesty.
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