Author(s): Fumiko Enchi
In the late nineteenth century, Tomo, the faithful wife of a government official, is sent to Tokyo, where a heartbreaking task is awaiting her. From among hundreds of geishas and daughters offered up for sale by their families she must select a respectable young girl to become her husband's new lover. Externally calm, but torn apart inside, Tomo dutifully begins the search for an official mistress. The Waiting Years was awarded Japan's most prestigious literary award, the Noma Prize.
Fumiko Enchi was a well known female Japanese writer, whose work is often compared to Yukio Mishima. She won the big Japanese Literary prizes in the 1940s (the Noma & Tanizaki) and has never been published in the UK.
"Thought-provoking and heart-wrenching" The Daily News Journal "A prize-winning novel by one of Japan's most notable women authors" Library Journal "A subtle dissection of the attitudes of Japanese women" Pacific Citizen "The author is a woman of great intelligence, profound psychological insight, and extraordinary sensitivity" Monumenta Nipponica "Absorbing, sensitive, and utterly heartrending" Charles Beardsley
Fumiko Enchi was the pen-name of Fumi Ueda, one of the most prominent Japanese women writers in the Showa period of Japan. Her first play, Banshun Soya, performed at the Tsukiji Little Theatre, was a success and a short story published in 1952, Himojii Tsukihi, was acclaimed by the critics and won the coveted Women Writers Prize. On the publication in 1957 of The Waiting Years - a novel she took eight years to write - she won Japan's highest literary award, the Noma Prize. Enchi was made a Person of Cultural Merit in 1979, and was awarded the Order of Culture by the Japanese government in 1985. She was elected to the Japan Art Academy shortly before her death in 1986.