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Richard Lloyd Parry - book author

Richard Lloyd Parry was born in north-west England, and has lived since 1995 in Tokyo, where he is the Asia Editor of The Times newspaper of London. He has reported from twenty-eight countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq and North Korea. In 2005, he was named the UK's foreign correspondent of the year. He has also written for Granta, the New York Times and the London Review of Books.

Richard Lloyd Parry is the author of books: People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo--and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up, Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan’s Disaster Zone, In the Time of Madness: Indonesia on the Edge of Chaos, Japan, Devoradores de sombras (NOVELA POLICÍACA), Tokyo, Kyoto and Ancient Nara, Dévorer les ténèbres, Giappone, Granta 62: What Young Men Do

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An incisive and compelling account of the case of Lucie Blackman. Lucie Blackman - tall, blonde, and 21 years old - stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000, and disappeared forever. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave.

The seven months in between had seen a massive search for the missing girl, involving Japanese policemen, British private detectives, Australian dowsers and Lucie's desperate, but bitterly divided, parents. As the case unfolded, it drew the attention of prime ministers and sado-masochists, ambassadors and con-men, and reporters from across the world. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult, or snatched by human traffickers? Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? And what did her work, as a 'hostess' in the notorious Roppongi district of Tokyo, really involve?

Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, has followed the case since Lucie's disappearance. Over the course of a decade, he has travelled to four continents to interview those caught up in the story, fought off a legal attack in the Japanese courts, and worked undercover as a barman in a Roppongi strip club. He has talked exhaustively to Lucie's friends and family and won unique access to the Japanese detectives who investigated the case. And he has delved into the mind and background of the man accused of the crime - Joji Obara, described by the judge as 'unprecedented and extremely evil'.

With the finesse of a novelist, he reveals the astonishing truth about Lucie and her fate.

'People Who Eat Darkness' is, by turns, a non-fiction thriller, a courtroom drama and the biography of both a victim and a killer. It is the story of a young woman who fell prey to unspeakable evil, and of a loving family torn apart by grief. And it is a fascinating insight into one of the world's most baffling and mysterious societies, a light shone into dark corners of Japan that the rest of the world has never glimpsed before.
On 11 March 2011, a massive earthquake sent a 120-foot-high tsunami smashing into the coast of north-east Japan. By the time the sea retreated, more than 18,500 people had been crushed, burned to death, or drowned.

It was Japan’s greatest single loss of life since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. It set off a national crisis, and the meltdown of a nuclear power plant. And even after the immediate emergency had abated, the trauma of the disaster continued to express itself in bizarre and mysterious ways.

Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, lived through the earthquake in Tokyo, and spent six years reporting from the disaster zone. There he encountered stories of ghosts and hauntings. He met a priest who performed exorcisms on people possessed by the spirits of the dead. And he found himself drawn back again and again to a village which had suffered the greatest loss of all, a community tormented by unbearable mysteries of its own.

What really happened to the local children as they waited in the school playground in the moments before the tsunami? Why did their teachers not evacuate them to safety? And why was the unbearable truth being so stubbornly covered up?

Ghosts of the Tsunami is a classic of literary non-fiction, a heart-breaking and intimate account of an epic tragedy, told through the personal accounts of those who lived through it. It tells the story of how a nation faced a catastrophe, and the bleak struggle to find consolation in the ruins.
"Amazingly well up-dated and researched. -- The Times (London)"Cadogan's specialty is uncovering delightful secrets in some of the earth's most traveled spots". -- The Independent

"Entertaining companions with sharp insights ... The series has received plaudits worldwide for intelligence, orginality and a slightly irreverent sense of fun. -- Daily Telegraph (London)

"Cadogan Guides have a reputation as the outstanding series for the independent traveler who doesn't want to follow the crowd". -- Daily Telegraph (London)

"... evocatively charming and chatty as they are informed". -- New York Daily News

"Understated humorous writing". -- New York Daily
Cadogan's Guide to Japan unravels the country's enigmatic combination of sleek sophistication and futuristic technology with the rites and traditions of an ancient civilization. Whether exploring mystic mountains with conch-blowing holy men, partying in the brash fast-moving cities, or contemplating Zen in exquisite rock gardens, the author's witty and informative commentary unfolds the mysteries of this often misunderstood land.
L'histoire vraie d'une jeune femme disparue dans les rues de Tokyo et du démon qui l'a engloutie.

Lucie Blackman est grande, blonde et sévèrement endettée. En 2000, l'été de ses 21 ans, cette jeune Anglaise travaille dans un bar à hôtesses de Roppongi – quartier chaud de Tokyo – lorsqu'elle disparaît sans laisser de traces. Ses parents lancent alors une vaste campagne de mobilisation pour la retrouver. Bien vite, l'enquête des autorités japonaises devient sujette à caution : veut-on vraiment savoir ce qui s'est passé ?

Journaliste, Richard Lloyd Parry se passionne pour l'affaire. Voulant savoir ce qui est arrivé à Lucie, il s'immerge dans le Tokyo interlope, où il ira de surprise en surprise. De l'industrie du sexe au fonctionnement sidérant de la justice, il lève ainsi le voile sur une ville hantée par le mal, aussi fascinante qu'effrayante. Au cœur de cette toile invraisemblable, un mystérieux millionnaire, véritable figure du vice, sur lequel vont se porter tous les les soupçons. Espionné, menacé, attaqué en justice, Richard Lloyd Parry ne laissera rien l'arrêter dans sa recherche de la vérité.
Più di altri paesi altrettanto ricchi e complessi, il Giappone ha la capacità di suscitare sorpresa. L’esasperazione delle vite dei moltissimi abitanti di un arcipelago così piccolo, il monolitismo delle strutture sociali, l’originalità dell’industria culturale, il gigantismo delle multinazionali tecnologiche, la resilienza delle sue tradizioni e la varietà delle sottoculture delle megalopoli post umane ci lasciano meravigliati o perturbati, e ci trasformano in piccoli etnologi che si grattano la testa perplessi.
Perché sorprendersi allora se dalla notte dei tempi un’infinità di viaggiatori, entusiasti, reporter e scrittori ha versato fiumi di inchiostro su questo stesso incanto? Lo stupore non è forse uno dei combustibili della miglior letteratura? Le parole più o meno intraducibili un tempo snocciolate dal nerd di turno impallinato di Sol levante fanno oggi parte del nostro bagaglio culturale comune: otaku, karōshi, sararīman, shokunin, gōkon. Ciò nonostante, il Giappone è sempre un puzzle di cui riusciamo ad assemblare alcune tessere, ma il cui disegno complessivo rimane impenetrabile. Questo enigma lo ha reso un generatore senza fine di storie, racconti, riflessioni di cui nelle pagine che seguono si può leggere una raccolta necessariamente soggettiva, ma trasversale: dal culto degli antenati alla scena musicale di Tokyo, dall’alienazione urbana al cinema, dal sumo al maschilismo, per citarne alcuni.
Il Giappone, come sospeso tra invecchiamento della popolazione e post modernità estrema, tra immobilismo e sperimentazione del futuro, è un osservatorio privilegiato per capire il mondo che è stato e quello che sarà. A patto che partiamo per questo viaggio senza la pretesa di risolvere il mistero, perché come ricorda Brian Phillips in «Vivere da giapponesi» (pagina 108): «Alcune storie giapponesi finiscono bruscamente. Altre non finiscono proprio, ma nel momento cruciale staccano sull’immagine di una farfalla, del vento o della luna.»
This issue of GRANTA features an interview with Martha Gellhorn on the subject of marriage; civil war and economic collapse in Indonesia; a photographic essay on Jakarta's last boom; a humorous piece by Todd McEwen on the fetish of high heels; a look at the Northern soul (opposite the Southern soul?); and a timely article entitled "The Mistress", about a young woman entangled in lies.