Van C. Gessel was a professor of Japanese and dean of the College of Humanities at Brigham Young University when this was written. He has served on the faculties of Columbia University, Notre Dame University, and the University of California at Berkeley. He joined the faculty at BYU in 1990. Dr. Gessel’s publications include The Sting of Life: Three Contemporary Japanese Novelists and Three Modern Novelists: Sōseki, Tanizaki, Kawabata. He has published six translations of works by the Japanese Christian novelist Endō Shōsaku and has furthered Japanese literary education at BYU by serving as advisor to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s production of a stage adaptation of Endō’s SILENCE, by American playwright Steven Dietz, which was performed at BYU in the fall of 1998. Professor Gessel is married to Elizabeth Darley, and they are the parents of two children.