The Rainbow

The Rainbow

A Novel

About the Book

Available in English for the very first time, a powerful, poignant novel about three half sisters in post-war Japan, from the Nobel Prize-winning author of Snow Country.

With the Second World War only a few years in the past, and Japan still reeling from its effects, two sisters—born to the same father but different mothers—struggle to make sense of the new world in which they are coming of age. Asako, the younger, has become obsessed with locating a third sibling, while also experiencing love for the first time. While Momoko, their father’s first child—haunted by the loss of her kamikaze boyfriend and their final, disturbing days together—seeks comfort in a series of unhealthy romances. And both sisters find themselves unable to outrun the legacies of their late mothers. A thoughtful, probing novel about the enduring traumas of war, the unbreakable bonds of family, and the inescapability of the past, The Rainbow is a searing, melancholy work from one of Japan’s greatest writers. A VINTAGE ORIGINAL.
Read more

Praise for The Rainbow

“Full of surprises . . . Kawabata was not the first modern Japanese novelist to be translated into English, but for many American readers he introduced a nation’s literary sensibility . . . The sympathy and solidity with which the young women [in The Rainbow] are etched is unusual in Kawabata’s oeuvre, and the book’s nifty, suspenseful plotting is rare, too . . . The reader watches in fascination as the lives of the three half-sisters, for all their separations of geography and blood, increasingly come to interweave . . . The Rainbow adds a valuable layer to the portrait of the artist revealed by his work.” —The Wall Street Journal

"The Rainbow is a work of great beauty and austerity, matched by Trowell’s fine translation . . . What commends it most, however, is its resistance to nostalgia in the face of catastrophe and its determination to find moments of transcendence amid tragedy. Everything, it reminds us, is as fleeting as snow itself.” —Financial Times

"Kawabata’s classic novel . . . The Rainbow is at once a well-told story and a loving portrait of a family in transition – as Japan was, during this deeply consequential period in its history." —The Telegraph
Read more

Vintage International Series

Of Human Bondage
Giovanni's Room (Deluxe Edition)
Go Tell It on the Mountain (Deluxe Edition)
If Beale Street Could Talk (Deluxe Edition)
Answered Prayers
The Rainbow
Caligula and Three Other Plays
Soldiers' Pay
Out (Special Edition)
View more

About the Author

Yasunari Kawabata
Yasunari Kawabata was born in Osaka in 1899. In 1968 he became the first Japanese writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. One of Japan’s most distinguished novelists, he published his first stories while he was still in high school, graduating from Tokyo Imperial University in 1924. His short story “The Izu Dancer,” first published in 1925, appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1955. Kawabata authored numerous novels, including Snow Country (1956), which cemented his reputation as one of the preeminent voices of his time, as well as Thousand Cranes (1959), The Sound of the Mountain (1970), The Master of Go (1972), and Beauty and Sadness (1975). He served as the chairman of the P.E.N. Club of Japan for several years and in 1959 he was awarded the Goethe Medal in Frankfurt. Kawabata died in 1972. More by Yasunari Kawabata
Decorative Carat