万延元年のフットボール (Man'en Gannen no Futtoboru)
First published in Japanese in 1967, English translation 1988
Translated from the Japanese by John Bester
Serpent's Tail trade paperback, 274 p.
Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1994
Two brothers, Takashi and Mitsu, return from Tokyo to the village of their childhood. The selling of their family home leads them to an inescapable confrontation with their family history. Their attempt to elude the influence of the city ends in failure as they realize that its tentacles extend to everything in the countryside, including their own relationship.
In 1994, Kenzaburo Ōe was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Singling out The Silent Cry, the Nobel Committee stated that 'his poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament'.