Fracture, by Andres Neuman
Mr. Yoshie Watanabe, a former electronics company executive and a survivor of the atomic bomb, has always lived like a fugitive from his own memories. He’s spent decades traveling the world, making a life in different languages, only to find himself home again, living in Tokyo in his old age. On the afternoon of March 11, 2011, Watanabe, like millions of others, is stunned by powerful tremors. A massive earthquake has struck to the north, triggering the Fukushima nuclear disaster―and a stirring of the collective past. As the catastrophe unfolds, Watanabe’s mind, too, undergoes a tectonic shift. With his native land yet again under nuclear threat, he braces himself to make the most surprising decision of his nomadic life.
Meanwhile, four women who have known him intimately at various points in time narrate their stories to a strangely obsessive Argentinian journalist. Their memories, colored by their respective cultures and describing different ways of loving, trace sociopolitical maps of Paris, New York, Buenos Aires, and Madrid over the course of the twentieth century. The result is a metalingual, border-defying constellation of fractures in life and nature―proof that nothing happens in only one place, that every human event reverberates to the ends of the earth.
With unwavering empathy and bittersweet humor, and facing some of the most urgent environmental concerns of our time, Andrés Neuman’s Fracture is a powerful novel about the resilience of humankind, and the beauty that can emerge from broken things.