A Bar of Shadow


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ISBN: 9780701203801
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Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good with Brodart protector, clipped. Hogarth Press 1973, second impression

First published in The Cornhill, and then as a book in 1954, has not been available as a separate volume since 1963. This is the story of Hara, a Japanese sergeant in virtual command of a prisoner-of-war camp. It is more than a little autobiographical for Colonel van der Post was himself a prisoner in the Far East. The book is a penetrating study of the Japanese mentality, the Japanese myth, as personified by this demonic, naive, brutal, weirdly idealistic sergeant. How Hara's curiosity about Father Christmas saves a British Prisoner from the death-cell, and how this officer later spoke up for his torturer at a War Crimes Tribunal, provide the climaxes of a book which proves once again that truth is far stranger than fiction. But A Bar of Shadow does something more. It shows that men not only must but can love their enemies: and it shows how this most difficult love may be achieved by a courageous imaginative understanding.

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