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Summary

He showed me his scars, a fine mesh covering his forearms and back like internal branches, as if he were carrying a tree. Then he saw mine. We felt light, a little ugly and very beautiful. Two survivors.

Fracture is a story about the beauty that emerges from broken things. 

Mr Watanabe is a victim of one of the largest collective traumas of the last century and a fugitive from his own memory. A survivor of the atomic bombs dropped in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, he has evaded the trauma of those experiences for most of his adult life. When the earthquake which precedes the Fukushima nuclear disaster strikes, the past becomes present and Mr Watanabe begins a journey that will change everything. 

Meanwhile, four women based in Paris, New York, Buenos Aires and Madrid tell their own stories of knowing and loving Mr Watanabe to an enigmatic Argentine journalist, their intimate criss-crossed perspectives revealing how each human event expands far beyond the place it occurred and how every society remembers and forgets its catastrophes. 

Written with compassion, intimacy and purpose, Fracture encompasses some of the most urgent political, social and environmental questions of contemporary life, about collective trauma, memory and love. Already a sensation in Spain, it is a major work of imagination from the prize-winning and highly acclaimed Argentinian author.

©2020 Andrés Neuman (P)2020 W. F. Howes

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This book offers much food for thought

In this novel Andres Neuman touches on multiple topics including nuclear war, ecology, collective memory, genocide, human relations, separation, belonging, growing old, linguistics, world politics, life and some more. It is a rather political / philosophical book than a story but it still follows a life story of a double hibakusha and business executive Yoshie Watanabe from his childhood in Nagasaki through his studies in Paris and international carrier in the Americas and Europe until his retirement in Tokyo. It is a captivating read that encourages to reflect on all the various topics. Neuman an Argentinian writer in his forties managed with great success to look at a life of a Japanese man born long time before him through the eyes of 4 women - his ex partners in various stages of their lives - an incredible task!!!
Some might argue that all these women ressemble to each other and this is therefore a weakness of this book. But don’t we usually choose similar partners ???
I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes to think.
Also it improves your knowledge of Japan its history and culture.