Japan history debut to Penguin Press

Japan history debut to Penguin Press

Penguin Press has acquired a "spectacularly interesting" history debut about modern Japan from historian and BBC "New Generation Thinker" Christopher Harding.

Publishing director Simon Winder acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Dark Blossom: A History of Japan’s Epic Twentieth Century from Robyn Drury at Diane Banks Associates, to publish as an Allen Lane hardback in 2018.

The book is said to offer a new telling of modern Japanese history, exploring the ways in which the nation has grappled with modernity, internationalism and its own cultural anxieties, and revising the traditional narratives of contemporary Japan as both a morality tale and an economic miracle.

Winder said: "We have been looking for an author like this for years - this will be a spectacularly interesting and surprising book on Japan and we cannot wait to publish it."

Harding is a cultural historian of modern Asia and its relationships with the West, based at the University of Edinburgh. Since being named one of BBC Radio 3’s "New Generation Thinkers" in 2013, his broadcast work has included discussion and festival appearances, essays and a BBC radio documentary on "Freud in Asia", as well as his first BBC radio series "The Borders of Sanity", which broadcast on BBC Radio 4 earlier this year.