Ralph McCarthy

Ralph McCarthy

Ralph McCarthy has lived in Japan for almost two decades. He is the translator of two collections of stories by Osamu Dazai, “Self Portraits” and “Blue Bamboo,” and of Ryu Murakami’s novel 69.

Early Light

Fiction by Osamu Dazai

Translated from the Japanese by Ralph McCarthy Donald Keene

Early Light offers three very different aspects of Osamu Dazai’s genius: the title story relates his misadventures as a drinker and a family man in the terrible fire bombings of Tokyo at the end of WWII. Having lost their own home, he and his wife flee with a new baby boy and their little girl to relatives in Kofu, only to be bombed out anew. The father explains to his daughter: “‘Everything’s gone.…
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