If we read Dandelions not as an unfinished masterpiece but as a work in dialogue with the themes of love, desire, and the language beyond language, it feels not broken off but rather open to possibility, trembling with the potential for interpretation. Rather than longing for what lies beyond the final page, we can turn our attention to what has already been presented, however mysteriously, and consider it from different perspectives, as one turns a faceted crystal under a light.

—Larissa Pham, The Nation

A fascinating discovery, Kawabata’s unfinished final novel Dandelions is a great master’s last word

Dandelions

Fiction by Yasunari Kawabata

Translated from the Japanese by Michael Emmerich

A fascinating discovery, Dandelions is Kawabata’s final novel, left incomplete when he committed suicide in 1972.

Beautifully spare and deeply strange, Dandelions explores love and madness and consists almost entirely conversations between a woman identified only as Ineko’s mother, and Kuno, a young man who loves Ineko and wants to marry her. The two have left Ineko at the Ikuta Clinic, a mental hospital, which she has entered for treatment of somagnosia, a condition that might be called “seizures of body blindness.” Although her vision as a whole is unaffected, she periodically becomes unable to see her lover Kuno. Whether this condition actually constitutes madness is a topic of heated discussion between Kuno and Ineko’s mother: Kuno believes Ineko’s blindness is actually an expression of her love for him, as it is only he, the beloved, she cannot see.

In this tantalizing book, Kawabata explores the incommunicability of desire and carries the art of the novel, where he always suggested more than he stated, into mysterious and strange new realms. Dandelions is the final word of a truly great master, the first Japanese winner of the Nobel Prize.

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Paperback (published December 12, 2017)

ISBN
9780811224093
Price US
14.95
Price CN
19.95
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
128

Ebook (published December 12, 2017)

ISBN
9780811224109

If we read Dandelions not as an unfinished masterpiece but as a work in dialogue with the themes of love, desire, and the language beyond language, it feels not broken off but rather open to possibility, trembling with the potential for interpretation. Rather than longing for what lies beyond the final page, we can turn our attention to what has already been presented, however mysteriously, and consider it from different perspectives, as one turns a faceted crystal under a light.

—Larissa Pham, The Nation

Kawabata lusted for purity: his characters live the contradictions.

Boston Globe

A novel about absences, the near impossibility of human connection, the imperfect yet overpowering nature of memory, and the shortcomings of sight. Dandelions intrigues as an unfinished work.

—Will Harrison, The Hudson Review

A literary habit like no other—quietly devastating fiction. Behind a lyrical and understated surface, chaotic passions pulse.

—“The Independent* (London)

Kawabata is a poet of the gentlest shades, of the evanescent, the imperceptible.

Commonweal

Kawabata’s novels are among the most affecting and original works of our time.

The New York Times Book Review

Flowers, bells, wounded trees: the natural and human worlds meet and mingle in this slender, sharply honed narrative.

Kirkus Reviews

A gentle study of madness. Enchanting.

Publisher’s Weekly

Yasunari Kawabata’s lusciously peculiar novel Dandelions was unfinished when he took his life in 1972. It’s a story of love and loss and mania, told in sparse, arresting prose.

The Paris Review