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A Shameful Life

By Osamu Dazai & Mark Gibeau
A Shameful Life by Osamu Dazai & Mark Gibeau digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

Author Osamu Dazai (1909–48) retains an enormous following today. He is as famous for his darkly introspective novels as for the light-hearted children’s stories that are a staple of many Japanese textbooks. His novel Shayo has been published in English as The Setting Sun. Son of a wealthy family in northern Japan, Dazai was a top student who showed an early penchant for literary writing. He led a troubled, unstable life and suffered from drug abuse and alcoholism; he attempted suicide and had numerous affairs, even as his literary fame grew. A Shameful Life is said to be a close approximation of his lifestyle and struggles. The protagonist in the novel survives, but shortly after publication of A Shameful Life, Dazai and his lover drowned themselves in the Tamagawa Canal in western Tokyo.

Mark Gibeau is a literary translator and scholar of postwar Japanese literature. His previous translations include fiction by Yasunari Kawabata, Jun’ichirô Tanizaki, Shûgorô Yamamoto, Sakumi Tayama, Mitsuyo Kakuta, Sakyô Komatsu among others. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University, Canberra.

About Osamu Dazai

Author Osamu Dazai (1909–48) retains an enormous following today. He is as famous for his darkly introspective novels as for the light-hearted children’s stories that are a staple of many Japanese textbooks. His novel Shayo has been published in English as The Setting Sun. Son of a wealthy family in northern Japan, Dazai was a top student who showed an early penchant for literary writing. He led a troubled, unstable life and suffered from drug abuse and alcoholism; he attempted suicide and had numerous affairs, even as his literary fame grew. A Shameful Life is said to be a close approximation of his lifestyle and struggles. The protagonist in the novel survives, but shortly after publication of A Shameful Life, Dazai and his lover drowned themselves in the Tamagawa Canal in western Tokyo.

Mark Gibeau is a literary translator and scholar of postwar Japanese literature. His previous translations include fiction by Yasunari Kawabata, Jun’ichirô Tanizaki, Shûgorô Yamamoto, Sakumi Tayama, Mitsuyo Kakuta, Sakyô Komatsu among others. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University, Canberra.

Mark Gibeau

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