Authors > Shusaku Endo

Shusaku Endo

Shusaku Endo (1923–1996) is widely regarded as one of the most important Japanese authors of the late twentieth century. He won many major literary awards and was nominated for the Nobel Prize several times.



silence-film-tie-in-front-cover-screen‘One of the finest novels of our time by perhaps Japan’s greatest twentieth-century author’
—Graham Greene
‘Silence is Endo’s masterpiece … The precision of its writing, the force of its plot, the sympathy of its characterization, all move towards making it a profound imaginative experience’
‘A marvellous book … Endo is giving deep thought to the most basic problems of truth and how in exchanging it among ourselves we misconstrue its nature at every step’
‘A masterpiece. There can be no higher praise’
—Daily Telegraph
‘A masterly novel … A crucial book: both a great story and a cogent re-examination of the Christian myth’
—Sunday Telegraph
‘A remarkable work … sombre, delicate and startlingly empathetic’
—John Updike, New Yorker
‘One of the finest novels written by anyone anywhere … Flawless’
—David Mitchell
‘Profound and moving’
—The Times

The Sea and Poison


Set in a Japanese hospital during the last days of the Second World War, the story centres on the medical staff who offer to assist in a series of experimental vivisections on American prisoners of war. The Sea and Poison is Shusaku Endo’s most disquieting novel. Chilling and unforgettable, it is a masterful study of individual and collective moral disintegration.






The Samurai

In 1613, four Samurai set sail for Europe on an unprecedented diplomatic mission. Historical fiction at its finest and in many ways a companion piece to Silence.

Foreign Studies

Three short works of fiction about the spiritual and cultural clash of east and west.















One of Endo’s finest works of fiction, Volcano is a powerful, finely wrought novel of ideas to do with man’s relationship with nature, as well as a moving depiction of the trials of old age.

When I Whistle

Moving and elegiac, Endo takes a hospital setting for this novel and ode to Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons about old and new values in Japan.















Wonderful Fool

Young Frenchman Gaston Bonaparte visits Tokyo. Leaving behind his cynical life in Europe, he embarks on a series of seemingly innocent misadventures with street urchins, stray dogs, prostitutes and gangsters.


‘Endo is a great thriller writer … spine-chilling, erotic, cruel, full of intellectual games . . . very powerful.’ – Sunday Telegraph


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