**WINNER OF THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE** ‘A remarkable and deeply moving book’ Henry Marsh, bestselling author of Do No Harm
‘A breathtaking, extraordinary work of non-fiction’ Times Literary Supplement
On 11 March 2011, a massive earthquake sent a 120-foot-high tsunami smashing into the coast of north-east Japan. It was Japan’s greatest single loss of life since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.
Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, lived through the earthquake in Tokyo, and spent six years reporting from the epicentre. Learning about the lives of those affected through their own personal accounts, he paints a rich picture of the impact the tsunami had on day to day Japanese life.
Heart-breaking and hopeful, this intimate account of a tragedy unveils the unique nuances of Japanese culture, the tsunami’s impact on Japan’s stunning and majestic landscape and the psychology of its people.
Ghosts of the Tsunami is an award-winning classic of literary non-fiction. It tells the moving, evocative story of how a nation faced an unimaginable catastrophe and rebuilt to look towards the future.
"The definitive book on the quake which killed more than 15,000 people and led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster." (Mail Online)
"Every time I think of it, I’m filled with wonderment... This book is a future classic of disaster journalism, up there with John Hersey’s Hiroshima." (Rachel Cooke Observer)
"Mr Lloyd Parry offers a voice to the grieving who, too often, found it hard to be heard. It is a thoughtful lesson to all societies whose first reaction in the face of adversity is to shut down inquiry and cover up the facts. You will not read a finer work of narrative non-fiction this year." (Economist)
"A stunning book from the man who has a strong claim to be the most compelling non-fiction writer in the world." (Johann Hari)
"A book of absolute, harrowing truth and beauty. I'd give up four of my novels to have written this book." (Jim Crace Guardian)
"A breathtaking, extraordinary work… Parry writes with great fluency and timing, like a novelist alternating cadences and withholding information from the reader so as to create moments of tension and surprise. And there is something of the folklorist in the way he discusses the tradition of ghost stories in places such as Tohoku and Sendai." (Gavin Jacobson Times Literary Supplement)
"Compassionate and piercing... giving it the character of a finely conceived crime fiction or a psychological drama… Tragic, engrossing." (Eri Hotta Guardian)
"Parry, a journalist and long-time Tokyo resident, is able to draw something meaningful, even lovely, from the well of misery… Overall, the strength of the book lies in its stories, its observations and its language… The language is daring throughout." (David Pilling Financial Times)
"Ghosts of the Tsunami is alert to the social and political ramifications and transfixed by the spectral quality of the post-disaster landscape… These twin streams – one universal, the other intensely particular – come together in the mystery that is at this book’s core… Some of his most fascinating chapters take in the disaster’s psychological aftermath… It is full of stories of human endeavor, of individual and collective triumph over well-nigh insuperable odds… As well as being full of ghosts, Lloyd Parry’s A-grade reportage is also full of metaphors." (D. J. Taylor The Times)
"A remarkable and deeply moving book – describing in plain and perfect prose the almost unimaginable devastation and tragedy of the Japanese tsunami." (Henry Marsh)