Other Press recently brought out Juliet Winters Carpenter's translation of A True Novel by Minae Mizumura, originally published in Japanese in 2002. Toyota Horiguchi's black-and-white photographs (several seen above) are full-page plates spaced among the two-volume novel's 854 glossy pages. In the "prologue" (an opening narrative of more than 150 pages in itself) Mizumura sets out strong views about the influence of western novel-forms on Japanese novel-forms and the difficulty of adapting western storytelling thought-modes to Japanese storytelling thought-modes. Though author and publisher both explicitly compare this new gigantic love story to Wuthering Heights, there are equally strong echoes (for me, at least) of The Makioka Sisters (Junichiro Tanizaki, published 1946-48) and equally strong echoes of Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell, published 1936) and equally strong echoes of Buddenbrooks (Thomas Mann, published 1901). But these are all echoes as tributes, echoes of strong, living, worldwide narrative traditions (the doomed passion tradition, the social displacement tradition).