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By Kazuo Ishiguro

The tale of Etsuko, a eastern girl now residing by myself in England, living at the contemporary suicide of her daughter. In a narrative the place prior and current confuse, she relives scenes of Japan's devastation within the wake of global warfare II.

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Experience first—language second. How can I tell how I felt? I saw things around me with a curious double vision, as if I stared at them through rippling water—yet I felt no surprise and no curiosity about this. I moved like a sleepwalker, unaware of what I was about to do—but I was wide awake, fully aware of who I was, where I was, what my job at the Section had been. There was no amnesia; my full memories were available to me at any moment. And, although I did not know what I was about to do, I was always aware of what I was doing and sure that each act was the necessary, purposeful act at that moment.

I mean to say she was to me still old Lady Haines, the spinster secretary to the boss, the one who bawled me out for poor grammar in my reports. In the second place, if she was carrying a parasite I did not want to risk burning it, not after what we had been told. I am not the world's best shot, anyhow. She ducked into a room; I came up to it and again I hesitated— sheer habit; it was the ladies' room. But only a moment. I slammed the door open and looked around, gun ready. Something hit me back of my right ear.

Greenberg, could you come up for a moment? " He fussed, but agreed to do so. When we entered the loft I closed the door behind us and led him over to the open crate. "Here," I said, "if you will just lean over there, you will see what I mean. If I could just—" I got him around the neck with a grip that cut off his wind, ripped his jacket and shirt up, and, with my free hand, transferred a master from the cell to his bare back, then held him tight for a moment until his struggles stopped. Then I let him up, tucked his shirt back in and dusted him off.

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