Fracture: surviving disaster, from Hiroshima to Fukushima
Review: a portrait of a survivor through the eyes of past lovers
Andrés Neuman, came to the attention of the English-speaking world with the widely-acclaimed Traveller of the Century. Photograph: David Levenson/Getty Images
In Andrés Neuman’s latest novel, we meet Yoshie Watanabe, a retired electronics executive, in a Tokyo subway station one afternoon when he feels a vibration, then a tremor, before “the floor cease [s] to be a floor”. What he’s experiencing is the magnitude 9 earthquake that triggered the 2011 tsunami – the costliest natural disaster in history – and the meltdown of nuclear reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
“An earthquake fractures the present, shatters perspective, shifts memory plates,” writes Neuman.