Striking and eloquent stories that tell of the absurd violence of war, and tenderly depict the animals and children caught in its vortexA whale falls in love with a military submarine, and dies courting her; a mother caught in a fire following a bombing gives all her body’s water to save her son, and her desiccated form turns into a kite; a wolf rescues a sick child abandoned by her parents, only to die himself at the hand of men. However, bunkers can also become real homes, a small Japanese girl and an American POW briefly understand each other and a miraculous tree feeds starving children… This is war, no doubt, but told by someone who understands how children truly experience war and its aftermath – the bombings and parents’ deaths, the life of orphans who roam the streets, the starvation and blind violence in a society beyond destruction.
Akiyuki Nosaka remembers what it was like to be a child caught in war-torn Japan in 1945, and he retells his experiences in this collection of powerful and beautifully expressive stories for children. Akiyuki Nosaka’s adoptive parents were killed in the Allied firebombing of Kobe, Japan in 1945, and at age fourteen he fled with his younger sister to an evacuation camp, where she starved to death. This experience led him to write the award-winning Grave of the Fireflies, later made into an internationally acclaimed animated film, as well as The Whale That Fell in Love with a Submarine.
Nosaka is well known in Japan as an essayist, lyricist, singer, politician and TV presenter. He has written nearly one hundred works of fiction and non-fiction, and continues to write columns for newspapers and magazines to this day.
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