MixedNew StatesmanReading this book is an unpleasant experience, which, to admirers such as Zadie Smith, makes it a perfect summation of \'our current moment\' ... I’m not convinced. Polemics are supposed to inspire readers to action. Sabrina is instead an expertly executed moan. It offers no hope, no glimpse of human connection profound enough to make life worthwhile. Drnaso drains each page of joy, choosing a muted palette and reducing his characters’ eyes to dots.
Richard Lloyd Parry
PositiveNew Statesman...Ghosts of the Tsunami is an exploration less of the instrument of disaster than of the damage that it inflicted on a particular community that had 'suffered an exceptional tragedy.' Through the traumas of the people of Okawa, a small coastal town 'in a forgotten fold of Japan,' Lloyd Parry allows us to imagine what would otherwise have been unimaginable ... Gaman – which loosely means 'endurance' – is an admirable trait in the wake of disaster. It binds people together and allows them to focus on the common good before seeing to their own needs. Yet Lloyd Parry ultimately comes to see it as part of a 'cult of quietism' choking the Japanese, making them put up with unacceptable conditions in obedient silence ...to his great credit that, once he attained this gift, he so generously shared it with us here.