It’s the body that matters: reticence and desire in 'Snow Falling on Cedars'

Peter Williams


David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars contains all the elements for a good story – unfulfilled desire, a dead body that has met its end mysteriously, a quest for “the truth”, a trial, unrequited love and finally, a solution to an elegantly constructed puzzle. Overlay these elements with the most seductive siren song for late twentieth-century audiences, ethnicity and race relations, and the story looks irresistible. And irresistible it was for Universal Studios who bought the publishing rights for the book and hired Australian Scott Hicks of Shine fame to direct the film, released in 1999.

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