Thursday, September 6, 2012


4.5 out of 5

  • Print Length: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (May 16, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English


 A Personal Matter is the story of Bird, a frustrated intellectual in a failing marriage whose Utopian dream is shattered when his wife gives birth to a brain-damaged child.

My view:

I liked this novel a lot. There are similarities between the novel's protagonist and Kenzaburo Oe's personal experience with the birth of his son, born handicapped. This is where the novel leaves Kenzaburo Oe's real experience as a father and the protagonist portraying a father.

The father in the novel experiences many difficulties accepting his son's defect, which leaves the reader wandering throughout the novel what his ultimate decision will be concerning his son...his options are many...

Concerning Kenzaburo Oe's feelings towards his son, we find a loving father who loved and accepted his child from the moment of his birth. Not to be confused with the novel. A good thing to know and remember when reading A PERSONAL MATTER.


  1. I didn't like this book at first, in fact for most of the way through. But, by the end, the father had 'redeemed' himself in my opinion. It's very interesting to think that Oe had a handicapped son of his own, which I imagine to be such a difficult thing to manage emotionally.

  2. Just read my first book by Ōe, Teach Us To Outgrow Our Madness and enjoyed it a lot. I'm looking out more by him and this is near the top of my list. He strikes me as a very courageous writer.