A jogadora de go Shan Sa


Published: 2004


203 pages


A jogadora de go  by  Shan Sa

A jogadora de go by Shan Sa
2004 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, RTF | 203 pages | ISBN: | 6.40 Mb

In war-torn Manchuria of the 1930s, two lives briefly find peace over a game of go in Shan Sas third novel, The Girl Who Played Go (translated by Adriana Hunter). The unnamed characters, a Japanese soldier stationed in China and a 16-year-old Manchurian girl, narrate their stories in alternating first-person chapters. For the girl, the struggles of Independent Manchuria take a back seat to her discovery of love and the awakening of her sexuality.

For the soldier, his idealized dreams of samurai honor and imperial conquest are slowly displaced by homesickness, troubled recollections of his earthquake-torn youth, and remorse over a lost love. But the solitary concerns of each character are eventually submerged by the tides of war. The girls first lover, Min, is a revolutionary. His ardor for his virgin conquest is matched by a doomed patriotism. Simultaneously, the soldier comes to relish the girls home town, Thousand Winds, in Southern Manchuria, and becomes distrustful of his own nationalism.

His daily games of go with the young female stranger awaken a new passion in him that becomes entwined with admiration for her aggressive play.As they hardly speak, the soldier and the girls views of each other remain clouded in Sas technically facile narrative maneuvers.

Where the soldier sees love, the girls sees escape. By maintaining the first person, Sa (winner of the French Prix Goncourt du Premier) leads the reader not only to experience the Japanese and Manchurian perspectives of the occupation, but also she offers glimpses into the deep failure inherent in cross-cultural and cross-generational communication. Couple with the rich historical detail, Sas narrative games reward close reading amidst the briskly paced spiral into tragedy.

--Patrick OKelley

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