Widows of Hiroshima: The Life Stories of Nineteen Peasant Wives

Mikio Kanda, Other St. Martin's Press $35 (183p) ISBN 978-0-312-02444-4
Oral histories of 19 widows in their 70s and 80s from a village near Hiroshima here record the losses of husbands and children killed by the 1945 atom bombing. Retaining the flavor of their peasant dialect in a fluent translation, Kanda, a reporter in Hiroshima, conveys not only the grief and horror but the hardships they endured searching for their loved ones or their corpses, and the agonies of the victims who survived even a few days. The widows, some suffering from secondary radiation sickness, worked their small acreage or did other physical labor to feed their children. The accepting tone and lack of self-pity or vindictiveness enhances the gruesome nature of these accounts, and strengthens their anti-war message. Photos. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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