At the heart of Silence by Shasaku Endo is an unanswerable question: Is faith, or more accurately the public expression of faith, more important than innocent lives? The Christian faith teaches that the world is likely to make you a martyr and priests tend to go into that life willingly, but that doesn't necessarily go for the congregation. Set in feudal Japan when Christianity was outlawed and heavily persecuted, two Portuguese priests go in for secret missionary work. When caught, they are ready for torture, but not ready to witness the torture and mass killings of those they came to save. This book is beautifully written and if you need more reason to read it, Martin Scorsese is directing a movie based on it due out some time in the near future.— Danny
Shusaku Endo's classic novel of enduring faith in dangerous times, soon to be a major motion picture directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, and Adam Driver
"Silence I regard as a masterpiece, a lucid and elegant drama."-The New York Review of Books
Seventeenth-century Japan: Two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to a country hostile to their religion, where feudal lords force the faithful to publicly renounce their beliefs. Eventually captured and forced to watch their Japanese Christian brothers lay down their lives for their faith, the priests bear witness to unimaginable cruelties that test their own beliefs. Shusaku Endo is one of the most celebrated and well-known Japanese fiction writers of the twentieth century, and Silence is widely considered to be his great masterpiece.
About the Author
Shusaku Endo, born in Tokyo in 1923, was raised by his mother and an aunt in Kobe where he converted to Roman Catholicism at the age of eleven. At Tokyo's Keio University he majored in French literature, graduating BA in 1949, before furthering his studies in French Catholic literature at the University of Lyon in France between 1950 and 1953. Before his death in 1996, Endo was the recipient of a number of outstanding Japanese literary awards: the Akutagawa Prize, Mainichi Cultural Prize, Shincho Prize, and the Tanizaki Prize, and was widely considered the greatest Japanese novelist of his time.
Martin Scorsese was born in New York City and graduated from New York University with a degree in film. Widely considered one the best filmmakers in American history, his movies include Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, After Hours, Cape Fear, and Gangs of New York.
“Somber, delicate, and startlingly empathetic.” — John Updike
"One of the best historical novels by anyone, ever.” — David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks
"I think about Silence, and Endo’s work more generally, all the time." — Phil Klay, author of Redeployment and Winner of the 2014 National Book Award
“Silence was in the back of my mind the whole time I was working [on Boxers & Saints]. When I got stuck, I would close my eyes and ask for Endo’s intercession.” — Gene Luen Yang, MacArthur Fellow and author of Boxers & Saints
"All of Endo’s work has been influential. He truly understands what it means to be both of—and not of—a place." — Caryl Phillips, Guggenheim Fellow and award-winning author of The Lost Child