Silence: Picador Classic
Beneath the light of the candle I am sitting with my hands on my knees, staring in front of me. And I keep turning over in my mind the thought that I am at the end of the earth, in a place which you do not know and which your whole lives through you will never visit. It is 1640 and Father Sebastian Rodrigues, an idealistic Jesuit priest, sets sale for Japan determined to help the brutally oppressed Christians there. He is also desperate to discover the truth about his former mentor, rumoured to have renounced his faith under torture. Rodrigues cannot believe the stories about a man he so revered, but as his journey takes him deeper into Japan and then into the hands of those who would crush his faith, he finds himself forced to make an impossible choice: whether to abandon his flock or his God.
'One of the finest novels of our time' Graham Greene
One of the finest historical novels written by anyone, anywhere ... Flawless -- David Mitchell, author of CLOUD ATLAS and THE BONE CLOCKS This is a masterpiece. There can be no higher praise Daily Telegraph One of the finest novels of our time -- Graham Greene A remarkable work ... sombre, delicate and startlingly empathetic -- John Updike New Yorker Superb and harrowing - his masterpiece Observer A marvellous book ... Shusaku Endo is giving deep thought to the most basic problems of truth and how in exchanging it among ourselves we misconstruct its nature at every step Spectator Silence is a compelling historical fiction, a potent distillation of the paradoxes and ambiguities of faith and, from a Christian author, a daring challenge to religious orthodoxy. -- 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read Guardian
Shusaku Endo is widely regarded as one of the greatest Japanese authors of the late twentieth century. Born in 1923, he won many major literary awards and was nominated for the Nobel Prize several times. His novels, which have been translated into twenty-eight languages, include The Sea and Poison, Wonderful Fool, Deep River and Silence. He died in 1996.