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Course Description

idely read in their respective countries, Hungary and Japan, the novels of Magda Szabo and Fumiko Enchi have recently been introduced to American readers, thus sealing their importance among contemporary writers.  Szabo's novel The Door exposes the tumultuous relationship between two Hungarian women--the narrator, a well-educated writer; and her housekeeper, Emerence, a fiercely proud peasant.  Unlocking the mystery of Emerence's complex character from behind her door haunts the narrator during much of the novel.  In contrast, Enchi's The Waiting Years reveals private desires of its protagonist Tomo against a backdrop of Japan's  repressive patriarchal society during the Meiji Period (1888-1912).  Enchi's portrayal of one woman's life as one of pain and endurance in upholding the family code, together with her begrudging acceptance of her husband's concubines, illuminates women's struggle for equality within a male-dominated society.  Through discussion and audio-visuals we will explore the intricacy of human relationships in these two novels. Please note:  Students should read The Door before the first class meeting. Facilitated Discussion; Listening to Music or Other Audio; Viewing Videos
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