Yukio Mishima's suicide in November 1970, with its grim invocation of samurai machismo, is probably the most famous moment of his legend. It overshadows everything else, including Mishima's three nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Ever since I read Villa Triste in my late teens, I have been captivated by Patrick Modiano's forays into the shadowy atmosphere of ravaged memories that make up his novels. I am far from alone, since Modiano is somewhat of a cult figure in France, read by thousands.
To me, Patrick Modiano is the writer that represents literature in its finest expression, detached from trends, ideologies, and conformism. And he so admirably weaves this independent spirit into the story of a house adapted from his roots.
Alice Munro's writing, like all great writing, teaches us to be human. It engages big questions in small spaces: What does it mean to be regional? What does it mean to be Canadian? What does it mean to be a mother? What does it mean to be betrayed?
hen the world lost Seamus Heaney, so departed among its most glorious of voices. While the gift of his written voice will continue to live on indefinitely, the expressively inspiring tones of the poet's physical sound have sadly been extinguished.
In 2010 the Nobel Prize for Literature was given to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who is serving an 11-year sentence for his pro-democracy views. Officials in China went into a fit of rage. But 2012 saw the Prize go to Mo Yan, an important member of Communist Party.
V. S. Naipaul, in the winter of his long writing life, doesn't disguise his melancholy or his frailty. Still, his inquisitorial eye and his magic with a prose sentence have not abandoned him, nor the organ tones of his mesmerizing voice.