The Last Samurai
Fiction, 576 pages
Posman Books in Ponce City Market (Atlanta, GA) is my favorite place to buy new books. I love perusing their shelves because I never know what gems await. Helen DeWitt’s novel The Last Samurai (NO relation to the Tom Cruise flick & her novel came first) is one such gem.
The opening of the book is a standard family parable. And then things get crazy. DeWitt goes from ancestral anecdotes to Seven Samurai, the 1954 Akira Kurosawa classic. The novel is a wild ride: A mom tries to raise a genius child. Think Searching for Bobby Fischer, just swap languages for chess. What’s the balance between work and play for a savant? Lastly, don’t miss the shifting POV. It’s subtle and well done.
I just got DeWitt’s short story collection, Some Trick, on Audible and plan to listen to them shortly. Keep an eye out for that review.