The Charter: And Thirteen Other Stories about Japan
Roger Pulvers has been writing fiction set in Japan for over fifty years. Now, for the first time, a collection of his very best short stories has been brought together in a single volume. Some of these stories, like the one that gives the collection its title,
The Charter tells the story of a man who has chartered a boat on Tokyo’s Sumida River. He is celebrating his eightieth birthday and has invited his entire family to celebrate with him. But, curiously, it is a little girl engaging with him on the deck who comes to symbolize the real love that seems absent in his ‘loved ones’. The two make a promise to each other there and then that represents another kind of ‘charter’.
The great variety of characters encountered in these poignant and often highly humourous stories include a little boy who, it seems, will stop at nothing to get his feuding parents together again; a young woman who reconnects with an ancestor and finds love in the process; a beautiful Japanese singer who goes to Las Vegas to make it big time; a Japanese salaryman who, on an impulse, travels to Holland in search of Vermeer and loses himself instead; a naïve American who falls for a young Japanese woman, only to have to witness her modelling in the nude for a dissolute artist he despises; two young women – one Japanese, the other Indonesian – who discover that they have the same father … and other colourful characters that give great insight into contemporary Japanese life.
Publication date: 30 September 2020
Format: Paperback (Demy octavo) 216mm x 138mm
Pages: 171 pp
Cover illustration by Sophie Pulvers