Author(s): Shusaku Endo
With an introduction by Martin Scorsese: 'One of the finest historical novels written by anyone, anywhere . . . Flawless' - David Mitchell
Father Rodrigues is an idealistic Portuguese Jesuit priest who, in the 1640s, sets sail for Japan on a determined mission to help the brutally oppressed Japanese Christians and to discover the truth behind unthinkable rumours that his famous teacher Ferreira has renounced his faith. Once faced with the realities of religious persecution Rodrigues himself is forced to make an impossible choice: whether to abandon his flock or his God.Winner of the 1966 Tanizaki Prize, Silence is Shusaku Endo's most highly acclaimed novel and a classic of its genre. It caused major controversy in Japan following its publication in 1967.Silence will soon be a major film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver.
Now a major film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver
Silence is an imposing, but wholly resonant read. Endō’s epistolary novel from the perspective of two Portuguese priests endeavouring to spread the word of Christ throughout 17th century Japan is not a tale reserved for those involved in religious practices, but also serves as an enlightening perspective into how deeply religion and faith can permeate, and enrage cultures.
Silence does not push or preach religion, nor does it encourage the act of forcing Christianity on those who are deeply resistant to its ideals. Silence explores the significance of religious faith in how it can mould and define a person, but also the difficulty in maintaining faith in an environment where it is demonised. It does not neglect the well-known doubts that many often have of their religion when they come face to face with the horrors of the world. In so many places and situations where God fails us, how can we be sure that our plight isn’t for nothing? Silence is equal parts beautifully written and philosophically rich, and is worth reading for those with or without a religious faith.
- Taylor, The Book Grocer.
One of the finest historical novels written by anyone, anywhere ... Flawless -- David Mitchell, author of CLOUD ATLAS and THE BONE CLOCKS This is a masterpiece. There can be no higher praise Daily Telegraph One of the finest novels of our time -- Graham Greene A remarkable work ... sombre, delicate and startlingly empathetic -- John Updike New Yorker Superb and harrowing - his masterpiece Observer A marvellous book ... Shusaku Endo is giving deep thought to the most basic problems of truth and how in exchanging it among ourselves we misconstruct its nature at every step Spectator Silence is a compelling historical fiction, a potent distillation of the paradoxes and ambiguities of faith and, from a Christian author, a daring challenge to religious orthodoxy. -- 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read Guardian
Shusaku Endo is widely regarded as one of the greatest Japanese authors of the late 20th century. Born in 1923, he won many major literary awards and was nominated for the Nobel Prize several times. His novels, which have been translated into 28 languages, include The Sea and Poison, Wonderful Fool, Deep River and Silence. He died in 1996.