Books by Haru Wells

THE MASTER PUPPETEER by Haru Wells
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1976

Here we move forward six hundred years from the 12th century Japan in Of Nightingales That Weep (1974) to a year when the country is ravaged by famine and Jiro, the puppet-maker's son, decides that a theater apprenticeship will be the best way to fill his stomach and ease the burdens of his hard-pressed family. The world of traditional puppet drama—both the glittering artifice onstage and the role-playing that continues behind the scenes—becomes a fantastic backdrop to the mystery that engulfs Jiro when he finds evidence of the Robin Hood style bandit, Saboro, hidden in the theater's storeroom. The deep bond between Jiro and the puppet-master's son Kinshi, both apparently unloved by their demanding fathers, forms this adventure's stable core, but Paterson's ability to exploit the tension between violence in the street and dreamlike confrontations of masked puppet operators is what makes this more lively and immediate then her other, equally exacting, historical fictions. Read full book review >
OF NIGHTINGALES THAT WEEP by Haru Wells
FICTION
Released: Sept. 23, 1974

Like Muna in The Sign of the Chrysanthemum (KR, 1973) Takiko, the daughter of a samurai, is a young teenager in 12th century Japan who loses a parent and moves about on her own during the wars between the Heike and the Genii dans. First seen as a protected child, Takiko adjusts to a humbler rural existence after her father's death, later becomes a favorite entertainer at the court of the infant emperor, is preoccupied then by her once-consummated love affair with an enemy spy, shares the pain and humiliation of her exiled court's defeat at sea, and at last endures exhausting, disfiguring field work beside the ugly, misshapen potter — her dead mother's second husband -whom Takiko herself decides in the end to marry. Again the exquisitely reconstructed backgrounds and episodes and the gradual character development will induce admirers of historical fiction to share Takiko's experience of her times and follow her dramatic progress from innocence to extremity. Read full book review >