Awarded the Prix des libraires by France’s booksellers, a universal story about music and restoring one’s faith in others amid the aftermath of tremendous loss.
Tokyo, 1938. An amateur quartet, led by the compassionate Yu, gathers to practice. Suddenly, their rehearsal is brutally interrupted by military police. In the ensuing skirmish, Yu’s violin is smashed while his son, Rei, witnesses his father’s arrest. He will never see him again. Salvaging his father’s instrument, Rei escapes thanks to a mysterious lieutenant.
Paris, 2003. Raised in France, Rei–now Jacques–has dedicated his life to the broken violin’s repair: studying music, becoming an apprentice, and, eventually, a luthier. However, despite his effort to rehabilitate the damage of years ago, he struggles to reconcile his past with the present.
Yet, when a world-class violinist, connected to the lieutenant that helped him as a boy, appears, Jacques’ past is rekindled and he perseveres in a final bid to heal. Fractured Soul is a parable of what once was lost and what there stands to be gained–a story of immense beauty and ferocious courage.
Translated from the French by Alison Anderson
About the Author
A Japanese writer and translator, Akira Mizubayashi was born in 1951. He first visited France in 1973 for pedagogical training in Montpellier, where he became certified to teach French as a second language. Since 1983, Mizubayashi has taught French in Tokyo, where he currently is professor emeritus at Sophia University. His work has been critically acclaimed in France; in 2020, Fractured Soul won the Prix des libraires among other awards. Mizubayashi resides in Tokyo and writes in French.
ALISON ANDERSON, a native Californian, works as a literary translator in the Swiss Alps. Her many translations include the Europa edition of Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Ingrid Betancourt’s memoir, and the work of JMG De Clezio. She has also written two previous novels and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literary Translation Fellowship, as well as fellowships at the prestigious MacDowell Colony and the Hawthornden Retreat for Writers.