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The Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011: Background information when reading One Hour of Fervor

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One Hour of Fervor

by Muriel Barbery

One Hour of Fervor by Muriel Barbery X
One Hour of Fervor by Muriel Barbery
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  • Published:
    Jan 2024, 196 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Callum McLaughlin
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About this Book

The Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011

This article relates to One Hour of Fervor

Color photo of upended house, debris and surrounding damage caused by Tohoku earthquake and tsunami In Muriel Barbery's novel One Hour of Fervor, her characters watch the television in horror as news breaks of a huge earthquake in Japan's Tohoku region and its resulting tsunami. Though they are safely on high ground far from the impacted area, they are immediately fearful for loved ones, and reminded all too starkly of just how quickly life can come to an end.

The disaster appearing in Barbery's novel is based on a real one, adding to the poignancy of the scenes described. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck beneath the ocean around 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the Tohoku region on the island of Honshu. The earthquake was the most powerful ever recorded in Japan, and the fourth largest worldwide since records began. Worse still, an offshore earthquake can trigger a tsunami – a series of large waves caused by a mass displacement of water – and the one that followed this particular earthquake devastated lives and land.

The walls of water sent ...

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