The 1993 novel, published by New Directions, is about four Japanese tourists who head to India and end up on unexpected spiritual journeys.
Chad W. Post is an expert on literary translation as well as a Lost obsessive who loves seeking literary references in the show. He helped coordinate the show's use of Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman as the basis for an early episode, and now he's heard about the Endo references from one of the show's script coordinators. On the Media Bistro radio interview here, Post talks about his first exposure to the cryptic series: "The way it was constructed was like literature... all the different storylines... all the mysteries, and the different ideas." The literary references, he says, "add a dimension to the show... new ways of approaching the ideas."
Endo (1923-96) was one of the masters of unraveling the paradoxes of postwar Japanese culture. He was also Catholic, and Martin Scorsese is adapting his most famous novel, Silence, from 1966, with Daniel Day-Lewis, Gael Garcia Bernal and Benicio Del Toro. (Shooting began last year in New Zealand.)