In a review published in The Guardian, Richard Lloyd Parry's book “Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan’s Disaster Zone” has been described by Eri Hotta as “a compassionate and piercing look at the communities ravaged by the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.” For those who are yet to read the book, yesterday's session at the DLF with the author was a great opportunity to inquire if that was indeed true.
Richard Parry is an English journalist and author residing in Tokyo, Japan since 1995, where he is the Asia Editor of The Times of London. He has reported from 28 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq and North Korea. In 2005, he was named Foreign Correspondent of the Year in the UK’s What the Papers Say Awards. His books include “In the Time of Madness,” an account of violence and black magic in Indonesia; “People Who Eat Darkness,” about the disappearance of a young British woman in Tokyo; and “Ghosts of the Tsunami,” about the 2011 disaster in Japan.
As David Davidar invites him to read from his book, it becomes apparent that Parry is among those few writers who are able to combine the skills of an experienced journalist with the agility of a good writer. Parry's writing is sensitive, evocative and very observant. His descriptions of Japanese villagers traumatised by the calamity is not just sympathetic, but they reek of compassion.
When asked about his life in Japan, Parry said that it was a strange thing for him, because he couldn't fully explain why he chose to live in Japan. He said that it afforded him certain isolation, all the perks of being in the industrially advanced country that is Japan, but none of the baggage that a Japanese person living in the country must carry.