A Personal Matter Study Guide

A Personal Matter

A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe

A Personal Matter is a semi-autobiographical novel by Kenzaburo Oe, written in 1964. The novel deals with themes of morality, mental illness, despair and acceptance. A man named Bird has a son who has a benign brain tumor (originally diagnosed as a brain hernia) and is mentally handicapped. Bird struggles with his duty to care for his son but attempts to kill him somewhat half-heartedly. His marriage falls apart as he turns to drinking and an affair, though eventually he keeps the child.

A Personal Matter Book Notes