THE PAPER WALL by Ira Morris


Email this review


Tokyo today provides an attractive background- with authentic accents- for a story which paraphrases the liberal position in terms of two men-- Jordan Haliday, a professor, and Donald Charwell, a diplomat. Haliday, strengthened and inspired by his wife Lucy, had taken a strong civil rights stand back in America which had stigmatized him as a ""red"", but, unknown to Lucy, he had already backed down and betrayed a friend. Now more than the paper wall of their Japanese accommodations separates them at night; Haliday has been emasculated by his loss of serenity and assurance. And now in Japan he again lacks the courage of his liberal convictions and backs down before a conservative Professor and an admiring student. Charwell, on the other hand, in the knowledge that any association with the Halidays will ruin his own (largely his wife's) ambassadorial ambitions, can easily avoid the involvement which will cost him his wife and his post-but does not- and at the end, after Haliday's default, proves ready to defend the stance of the man of good will and independent mind.... The larger issue, the necessity for action to implement conviction, is told in terms of personal- and marital- conflicts, not too deeply investigated but well integrated in a straightforward story.

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 1960
Publisher: Knopf