The Girl I Left Behind (Paperback)
New Directions, 9780811217736, 192pp.
Publication Date: November 17, 1995
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A romance about abandonment and guilt.
Prefiguring themes of his later work, the acclaimed Japanese writer Shusaku Endo here writes of choices made by young adults learning who they are and what they want in life. Yoshioka Tstomu is a student, not much interested in his studies, short on cash and long on sexual desire. Eventually he will settle down in a career and marry his boss’s niece. Yet he begins to hear a voice in his head that sparks a memory of Mitsu, a plain, naive country girl he once took callous advantage of during his college days. The episode meant nothing to him at the time; to her it meant the world. Yoshioka’s future is assured and conventional. Mitsu, on the other hand, takes quite another path, making a Christ-like commitment to take upon herself the suffering of others.