Kenzaburo Oe, the winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature, is internationally acclaimed as one of the most important and influential post-World War II writers, known for his powerful accounts of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and his own struggle to come to terms with a mentally handicapped son. The Swedish Academy lauded Oe for his "poetic force that] creates an imagined world where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today." His most popular book, 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. In writing novels there is no substitute for maturity and moral awareness. Kenzaburo Oe has both. Alan Levensohn, Christian Science Monitor"
His prolific body of work has won almost every major international honor, including the 1989 Prix Europalia and the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Nathan is the Takashima Professor of Japanese Cultural Studies at the University of California. He is also an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker.