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This is to prove that where East meets West -- the former (post-war) is not the loser. For the arrival of six tourists on M. Germain's ""Unknown Lands"" junket occupies his assistant, Miyamoto San, with the problems of punctilious formalism, his job, his family and local status. And all the six -- and M. Germain -- are affected, changed and turned by their stay at the Wind in the Pines, in Tokyo. General de Lure, in trying to help a crippled Japanese lieutenant, sets in motion an honorable suicide; Angelica Simpson, a zealous supporter of an American church, tangles with Buddhists and the building of a new chapel; Douglas Cadwallader IV, with a penchant for eliminating slavery, offers freedom to a number of geishas, ""frees"" one -- to lose her to a Japanese; the sexually minded Liliane Laage is finally satisfied; Cecil Brownely escapes -- at a price -- from his sober English wife; young Nicole Marchard, understanding the charming illusions, sees only the reality. And, deftly manipulating the strings that help to set the foreigners on their way, is the implacable, courteous, coldly despising Sato San, whose power as a policeman is a Nipponese as well as a foreign control. A caricature of the ""visitors"" and a precis of the complex etiquette of Japan, this ticks off two worlds -- each enclosed in their own patterns of thinking -- whose divergence can only be meshed- perhaps -- by the heart. The knifing here while light cuts neatly, almost bloodlessly, but with an incisive purport. Intriguing.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1959
Publisher: Putnam