Llosa has this to say about fiction: "In effect, novels lie — they can do nothing else — but that is only part of the story. The other part is that, by lying, they express a curious truth that can only be expressed in a furtive and veiled fashion, disguised as something that it is not. Put this way, it seems something of a rigmarole, but, in fact, it is really very simple. Men are not content with their lot and almost all of them — rich and poor, brilliant and ordinary, famous and unknown — would like a life different from that they are leading. Novels were born to placate this hunger, albeit in a distorted way. They are written and read so that human beings may have the lives that they are not prepared to do without."
The cranes sit idle on the shore. Above the tree line I can make out telephone poles — there must be a road up there. A turning. A temple. A blind dog. A dead end at a giant camphor tree.