A collection of contemplative, lyrical stories examining the visible and invisible consequences of atomic power on Japanese society
Sunrise is a collection of interconnected stories continuing Erika Kobayashi’s examination of the effects of nuclear power on generations of women. Connecting changes to everyday life to the development of the atomic bomb, Sunrise shows us how the discovery of radioactive power has shaped our history and continues to shape our future.
In the opening, eponymous story “Sunrise,” Yoko, born exactly two years and one day after Nagasaki was decimated, mirrors her life to the development of nuclear power in Japan. In “Precious Stones,” four daughters take their elderly mother to the restorative waters of a radium spring, exchanging tales of immortality. In “Hello My Baby, Hello My Honey,” a woman goes into labor during the final days of WWII. And finally, “The Forest of Wild Birds” shows Erika visiting the site of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster, touring grounds that were once covered in green.
Translator Brian Bergstrom returns in this collection, bringing to life Kobayashi’s unsettling, lasting, and striking prose. The stories in Sunrise force a reckoning with the lasting effects of known and unknown histories and asks how much of modern life is influenced by forces outside of our control.