View Full Version : The Woman in the Dunes

14th December 2007, 04:20 PM
This book is Kafkaesque and one of the premier Japanese novels of the twentieth century. The Women in the Dunes combines the essence of myth, suspense, and the existential novel.

In a remote seaside village, Niki Junpei, a teacher and amateur entomologist, is held captive with a young woman at the bottom of a vast sand pit where, Sisyphus-like, they are pressed into shoveling off the ever-advancing sand dunes that threaten the village.


3rd March 2010, 06:17 AM
This book will remind you of every useless task you've ever done. It is quintessentially existential. It mirrors the patterns of everyday life that people become trapped in. A must read for high school students, although the subject material is perhaps more appropriate for juniors and seniors rather than freshmen. Jumpei is easily accessible as a character and the book itself is extrordinarily modern. The moral of the story? There are several. The primary one, however, is that you give your life meaning even when it has none, whether it be by collecting insects, or by shoveling sand. Niether one has meaning in and of itself. I was reminded of Kafka's writing on beaurocracy. The true purpose of the task has been so buried, that the workers concentrate on the meaningless details, giving them meaning. All in all a slightly depressing book, but one that gets under your skin like the sand so artfully described.

20th April 2010, 07:22 AM
This book is short in plot and to the point (of course, there isn't much else to do with such a setting), but each scene inspires us to think about how differences in people are sometimes repressed by society, and the way some will go to keep the status quo. This book was also made into a successful movie."