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In Osaka, in the years immediately before W.W.II, four aristocratic women try to preserve a way of life that is vanishing. The story of the Makioka sisters is arguably the greatest Japanese novel of the 20th century, a poignant yet unsparing portrait of a family--and society--sliding into the abyss of modernity. Filled with vignettes of upper-class Japanese life and capturing both the decorum and the heartache of its protagonists, The Makioka Sisters is a classic of international literature. Translated from the Japanese by Edward G. Seidensticker.