Aside from all the acclaim (“A glorious whodunnit” and bestseller upon publication), prizes (PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction), and controversy (it’s been banned at schools in Canada and the U.S.), there’s something else about David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars that I love, and that’s the fact that it took a teacher with a full-time job 10 years of waking up early to complete this novel. Lest we forget, disciplined writing does equal success and hard work does pay off.
Oh, and there’s also its quiet, contemplative prose, as evidenced here.
“The trick was to live here without hating yourself because all around you was hatred. The trick was to refuse to allow your pain to prevent you from living honorably. In Japan…a person learned not to complain or to be distracted by suffering. To persevere was always a reflection of the state of one’s inner life, one’s philosophy, and one’s perspective. It was best to accept old age, death, injustice, hardship – all of these were part of living.”