‘Hiroshima’ – The before, during and after: an explosion of stories

‘Hiroshima’ – The before, during and after: an explosion of stories

On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima. Among the people who survived, six had their stories gathered on the 172 pages of , by journalist John Hersey (1914-1993). Miss. Sasaki, Mrs. Nakamura, Father Kleinsorge, Rev. Tanimoto and Doctors Fujii and Sasaki survived, suffered damage and continued their lives in the Japanese city, which also healed from the attack. His photos illustrate the front pages.

Hiroshima Book

Structure of the book

The book, released in 2002 by Companhia das Letras, is not a novel. It is about literary journalism, also called, a trend of the 1960s. This way of doing journalism combines literary narration with journalistic text. With this style, more in-depth reports were written, rich in details and with more humanized characters. that’s exactly it. The book is, in reality, a report made for the magazine, in August 1946. Showing that Hersey is a precursor of literary journalism.

When one understands the extreme quality of the reporter’s writing, R $ 52.90 (or R $ 39.05 for) becomes a bargain. Fast writing without losing the classic description of journalism, is present throughout the entire work. This description, so well done, that it gives the impression of seeing a photograph, but a photograph of a terrible moment.

The book has heavy scenes and does not please sensitive people. Even so, the book manages to explain and make the reader feel part of the Japanese community. Hersey explains customs and translates terms, bringing the western reader closer to distant Japanese culture. It is worth praising the translator Hildegard Fiest, who kept the text with extreme fluidity and detail.

There are few things to score against the book. Descriptions of the paths taken by the characters become confusing without prior knowledge of the city map. Strangely, there is no confusion when the six stories are interspersed, unite and separate, showing great clarity in writing. The book seems to require some knowledge that was common sense in 1946, but that today, some people may be unaware of. However, it provides necessary explanations for more complex subjects without diverting the focus of the six characters.

, by John Hersey, is a great book that is worth reading, but beware, the portrait of an atomic bomb is not beautiful to see, however interesting it may be.