Books by Kenzaburo Oé


NOTE: This list is as accurate as I could make it. However, because of Oé's rising popularity, new translations of his works are appearing relatively rapidly. Therefore, I may have missed some books that blong on this list.

Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids
Oé's first novel, this is a story about a group of young delinquents who are sent away from Juvenile Hall to escape the war. Although initially unpopular, this book has received quite a bit of critical acclaim. It is the only work of Oé's written before the birth of Hikari available in English that I know of.
A Personal Matter
Probably Oé's most widely known novel, this book was the first one he wrote after the birth of his son, and his first book to be translated into English. It is about a father's attempt to deal with the birth of a severely mentally handicapped son, and is somewhat autobiographical.
Teach Us To Outgrow Our Madness
This book is a collection of four short stories written by Oé, all of them part of what he refers to as his "idiot son" cycle.
The Silent Cry
Originally titled "The Football Game of the First Year of Manen", this work is the story of two brothers, Mitsuabro and Takashi, and of their relationship with each other and the world.
The Pinch Runner Memorandum
This is a very complex book, full of changes in narrative style, as well changes of timeflow and narrator within the story. Its focus is on two fathers and their retarded children, although the story uses most of their viewpoints in telling itself. A very interesting and deep work.
Hiroshima Notes
This is a collection of essays written by Oé about the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Oé does not completely blame the United States for what they did; he feels that our dropping of the bomb was at least as much the fault of Japan for starting the war in the first place. This collection explores his feelings on the subject.
Japan, the Ambiguous, and Myself
This book contains the Nobel lecture which it is named after, as well as three other speeches Oé gave between 1986 and 1994. Its subject matter ranges from his son to his thoughts on the place of Japan in the modern world.
The Crazy Iris and Other Stories
This book is not written by Oé rather, it is a collection of short stories selcted and edited by him. It deals mainly the stories of those who survived the atmoic bombs dropped on Japan.
Last Updated 1-30-96
Jared Wadsworth /