Seventeenth-century Japan: Two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to a country hostile to their religion, where feudal lords force the faithful to publicly renounce their beliefs. Eventually captured and forced to watch their Japanese Christian brothers lay down their lives for their faith, the priests bear witness to unimaginable cruelties that test their own beliefs. Shusaku Endo is one of the most celebrated and well-known Japanese fiction writers of the twentieth century, and Silence is widely considered to be his great masterpiece.
“A masterpiece, a lucid and elegant drama about a Portuguese missionary tormented by Japanese inquisitors.”—Irving Howe, The New York Review of Books
“Endo’s disarmingly direct and poignant narration masks a complex moral discussion.”—Robert Coles, New Oxford Review