Michael Gallagher

Michael Gallagher

Michael Gallagher

Michael Gallagher is a Jesuit scholar and former Jesuit brother and teacher. He translates Japanese literature, and in 1973 his translation of Yukio Mishima’s Spring Snow was a finalist for the National Book Award.

cover image of the book The Sea and Poison

The Sea and Poison

by Shusaku Endo

Translated by Michael Gallagher

The novel The Sea and Poison won the Akutagawa Prize when it was published in Japan in 1958 and established Shusaku Endo in the forefront of modern Japanese literature. It was the first Japanese book to confront the problem of individual responsibility in wartime, painting a searing picture of the human race’s capacity for inhumanity. At the outset of this powerful story we find a Doctor Suguro in a backwater of modern-day Tokyo practicing expert medicine in a dingy office. He is haunted by his past experience and it is that past which the novel unfolds. During the war Dr. Suguro serves his internship in a hospital where the senior staff is more interested in personal career-building than in healing. He is induced to assist in a horrifying vivisection of a POW. “What is it that gets you,” one of his colleagues asks. “Killing that prisoner? The conscience of man, is that it?”

More Information
Scroll to Top of Page