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Confessions of a Mask

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The story of a man coming to terms with his homosexuality in traditional Japanese society has become a modern classic.

'There is in this world a kind of desire like stinging pain'

Confessions of a Mask tells the story of Kochan, an adolescent boy tormented by his burgeoning attraction to men: he wants to be “normal.”  Kochan is meek-bodied, and unable to participate in the more athletic activities of his classmates. He begins to notice his growing attraction to some of the boys in his class, particularly the pubescent body of his friend Omi. To hide his homosexuality, he courts a woman, Sonoko, but this exacerbates his feelings for men. As news of the War reaches Tokyo, Kochan considers the fate of Japan and his place within its deeply rooted propriety.

Confessions of a Mask reflects Mishima’s own coming of age in post-war Japan. Its publication in English―praised by Gore Vidal, James Baldwin, and Christopher Isherwood― propelled the young Yukio Mishima to international fame.

'A terrific and astringent work of beauty' The Times Literary Supplement

'Mishima is lucid in the midst of emotional confusion, funny in the midst of despair' Christopher Isherwood

'Never has a "confession" been freer from self-pity' Sunday Times

'Mishima is lucid in the midst of emotional confusion, funny in the midst of despair' -- Christopher Isherwood

'Never has a "confession" been freer from self-pity and emotional over-indulgence' ― Sunday Times

'A writer of immense energy and ability' ― Time Out
 

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