Snow Country

Snow Country

Book - 1996
Average Rating:
Rate this:
With the brushstroke suggestiveness and astonishing grasp of motive that won him the Nobel Prize for Literature, Yasunari Kawabata tells a story of wasted love set amid the desolate beauty of western Japan, the snowiest region on earth. It is there, at an isolated mountain hotspring, that the wealthy sophisticate Shimamura meets the geisha Komako, who gives herself to him without regrets, knowing that their passion cannot last. Shimamura is a dilettante of the feelings; Komako has staked her life on them. Their affair can have only one outcome. Yet, in chronicling its doomed course, one of Japan's greatest modern writers creates a novel dense in implication and exalting in its sadness.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1996
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed
ISBN: 9780679761044
Branch Call Number: FICTION KAWABATA
Characteristics: x, 175 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Seidensticker, Edward 1921-2007


From Library Staff

"A beauty-obsessed Tokyo man has a years-long affair with a geisha at a hot springs resort."

"A beauty-obsessed Tokyo man has a years-long affair with a geisha at a hot springs resort." *

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

' oh yoko, oh y-o-h-k-o. my love will turn you on...' "if the hot spring geisha is not an outcast, she is perilously near being one..the pretense that she is an artist and not a prostitute is often a thin one indeed." "SNOW COUNTRY was begun in 1934 and published piecemeal between 1935 and 1937. in 1947 a final installment was added." "the haiku manner is notable for its terseness and austerity, so the novel is like a series of brief flashes in a void." "

Jul 04, 2013

I agree re. unsympathetic characters. Maybe it has to do with cultural differences, although sexism is unsympathetic in any culture. Probably due to translation but hard to understand why this is Nobel worthy, although the Nobel committee doesn't read it in the original Japanese do they?

Jul 03, 2013

A difficult book to read by a Nobel Prize winner. Shimamura periodically leaves his wife and family in Tokyo to go to Japan's mountain country, where he is having an affair with a geisha. She is bizarre and he is bloodless. Meanwhile he is intrigued by another young woman, Yoko. There is nothing to particularly like about any of the characters.


Add a Quote
Jun 25, 2015

The thread of the grass-linen, finer than animal hair, is difficult to work except in the humidity of the snow, it is said, and the dark, cold season is therefore ideal for weaving. The ancients used to add that the way this product of the cold has of feeling cool to the skin in the hottest weather is a play of the principles of light and darkness. this Komako, too, who had so fastened herself to him, seemed at center cool, and the remarkable, concentrated warmth was for that fact all the more touching.
But this love would leave behind it nothing so definite as a piece of Chijimi. Though cloth to be worn is among the most short-lived of craftworks, a good piece of Chijimi, if it has been taken care of, can be worn quite unfaded a half-century and more after weaving. As Shimamura thought absently how human intimacies have not even so long a life, the image of Komako as the mother of another man's children suddenly floated into his mind. p.154


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings

No similar edition of this title was found at MCL.

Try searching for Snow Country to see if MCL owns related versions of the work.

Suggest for Purchase

To Top