Upcoming Japanese translations

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Upcoming Japanese translations

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 2, 8:26am

Hello everyone.

As new admin of this group I thought I'd create a thread for upcoming Japanese translations. Japanese literature, especially by women, has hit a feverish boom lately and it's hard to keep track of all the new releases. This thread does not require that only I post in it so please feel free to post upcoming translations you stumble upon.

This initial post will have a list of the books coming out in translation in the current year.

1) Natsuko Imamura: The Woman in the Purple Skirt (tr. Lucy North)
2) Mieko Kawakami : Heaven (tr. Sam Bett and David Boyd)
3) Haruki Murakami : First Person Singular: Stories (tr. Philip Gabriel)
4) Mizuki Tsujimura : Lonely Castle in the Mirror (tr. Philip Gabriel)
5) Izumi Suzuki : Terminal Boredom (tr. Polly Barton, Sam Bett, David Boyd, Daniel Joseph, Aiko Masubuchi and Helen O’Horan)
6) Misumi Kubo : So We Look to the Sky
7) Eto Mori : Colorful
8) Yoko Tawada : Three Streets
9) Minae Mizumura : An I-Novel (tr. Juliet Winters Carpenter)
10) Tahi Saihate : Astral Season, Beastly Season (tr. Kalau Almony)
11) Seishi Yokomizo : The Village of Eight Graves (tr. Bryan Karetnyk)

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 3:40am

For 2021:

This article mentions 5 novels to look out for in 2021. This list includes some very prominent authors so I'm sure it'll be an exciting list for many. Italics are for the blurb given by the website.

1) Natsuko Imamura: The Woman in the Purple Skirt (tr. Lucy North)
This tells the story of an unhealthy relationship between two women known only as the titular woman in the purple skirt and the woman in the orange cardigan. Our protagonist, who lives in a rundown apartment and is all but destitute, follows a daily ritual of eating a cream bun in the park. She is watched, and eventually approached by the woman in the orange cardigan, who helps her into a hotel job and continues to manipulate her from the shadows.

This one won the Akutagawa Prize in 2019 and is a book I've had my eye on. Although, I recently looked at in Japanese and it looks to be a very easy read so I think I'll stick to the original.

2) Mieko Kawakami : Heaven (tr. Sam Bett and David Boyd)
This follows the tortured life of a teenage boy who is bullied relentlessly for his lazy eye. He resigns himself to his abuse but also finds kinship in a fellow classmate, a girl, who is going through the same routine of vicious bullying. This is a novel that explores the effects of bullying, the justifications of it and how bullying pervades our everyday lives. Most importantly, the book asks: why?

I haven't read Breasts and Eggs yet but I recently purchased it in Japanese and am really looking forward to it. This also sounds great about a very common problem here in Japan, albeit once I haven't read yet about in literature form.

3) Haruki Murakami : First Person Singular: Stories (tr. Philip Gabriel)
This is a collection of eight stories very much aimed at longtime fans of Murakami’s work. Every story in this collection is a first-person narrative, told by classic Murakami protagonists, as well as by Murakami himself. This collection will feature all the staple tropes of Murakami: jazz music, magical realism, dreams, surrealism and more. It also blurs the lines between fiction and memoir, representing a new form of Murakami, an evolution of his iconic style.

I'm impressed with the speed at which this is coming out. I'm pretty sure it was on bookshelves here in Japan just last year! And so quickly after his last short story collection. Murakami is just too prolific to keep up with.

4) Mizuki Tsujimura : Lonely Castle in the Mirror (tr. Philip Gabriel)
This is a new Japanese novel that uses fantastic tropes and a fantasy setting as a loose backdrop to tell a compelling tale. This is a book about loneliness and what it takes to overcome it, forming connections as we go. The novel follows the lives of seven disconnected teenagers in modern-day Tokyo who are pulled into a fantastical land through their mirrors. The castle they arrive at is a truly magnificent and majestic place, but at its core is a puzzle they must solve. Freeing themselves means being granted a wish; failing to do so will result in their death.

5) Izumi Suzuki : Terminal Boredom (tr. Polly Barton, Sam Bett, David Boyd, Daniel Joseph, Aiko Masubuchi and Helen O’Horan)
These are punk and venomous speculative fiction tales for fans of Margaret Atwood and Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror.” They explore social issues; play with what is real and what is acceptable. Suzuki is a daring writer and these stories will show the English-language world what she is made of.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 5:45pm

>1 lilisin: This is a great thread idea, something that is sure to add to my watch out for list! Heaven and Terminal Boredom sound like they'd be right up my alley.

Here's a couple I found coming out later this year:

So We Look to the Sky; Misumi Kubo

Sexually explicit and searingly honest, So We Look to the Sky is a novel told in five linked stories that begin with an affair between a student and a woman ten years his senior, who picks him up for cosplay sex at a comics convention. Their scandalous liaison, which the woman's husband makes public by posting secretly taped video online, frames all of the stories, but each explores a different aspect of the life passages and hardships ordinary people face. A teenager experimenting with sex and then, perhaps, experiencing love and loss; a young, anime-obsessed wife bullied by her mother-in-law to produce the child she and her husband cannot conceive; a high-school girl, spurned by the student, realizing that being cute and fertile is all others expect of her; the student's best friend, who lives in the projects and is left alone to support and care for his voracious senile grandmother; and the student's mother, a divorced single parent and midwife, who guides women bringing new life into this world and must rescue her son, crushed by the twin blows of public humiliation and loss, from giving up on his own.

Colorful; Eto Mori

A beloved and bestselling classic in Japan, this groundbreaking tale of a dead soul who gets a second chance is now available in English for the very first time.

“Congratulations, you’ve won the lottery!” shouts the angel Prapura to a formless soul. The soul hasn’t been kicked out of the cycle of rebirth just yet–he’s been given a second chance. He must recall the biggest mistake of his past life while on ‘homestay’ in the body of fourteen-year-old Makoto Kobayashi, who has just committed suicide. It looks like Makoto doesn’t have a single friend, and his family don’t seem to care about him at all. But as the soul begins to live Makoto’s life on his own terms, he grows closer to the family and the people around him, and sees their true colors more clearly, shedding light on Makoto’s misunderstandings.

Three Streets; Yoko Tawada

In Tawada’s ruminative collection of three fantastic tales (after The Emissary), a nameless, wandering narrator moves between contemporary Berlin and an imaginary realm of poets and ghosts. A trip to an organic food store with a ghostly child in “Kollwitz Strasse” sets the narrator to thinking about the sketches of Käthe Kollwitz, a German artist who drew heartrending pictures of “poverty that individuals can’t be held responsible for.” In “Majakowskiring,” the narrator walks through a quiet part of what was once East Berlin, thinking about a woman who’s “a typical West Berliner” and therefore couldn’t be bothered to visit that neighborhood, then enters a mysterious restaurant in which a photograph of the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky comes to life. And in “Pushkin Allee,” the narrator envisions the lives and motivations of Red Army soldiers, workers, and a German child memorialized in a park. Though the stories share a concern with the politics and the disasters of the 20th century, it is Tawada’s astute, observational asides that will remain with readers: city life is “an amusement park of the senses... full of people you might have met.” Brief and surprising, these stories reinvent familiar landmarks and artworks, giving readers an imaginative and hopeful way to grapple with the history that’s written into the urban landscape.

maaliskuu 3, 9:39pm

>2 lilisin: Hey this is super! I will be sure to check out these titles. Thanks!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 22, 4:18am

Found two more novels for 2021.

Also, I added all these titles in the first post of this thread for easy "shopping".

1) An I-Novel by Minae Mizumura, Translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter (Columbia University Press, March 2)

A semi-autobiographical novel about a single day in the 1980s, first published in 1995. The narrator talks to her sister and considers her decision to move back to Japan from the U.S.

Minae Mizumura's An I-Novel is a semi-autobiographical work that takes place over the course of a single day in the 1980s. Minae is a Japanese expatriate graduate student who has lived in the United States for two decades but turned her back on the English language and American culture. After a phone call from her older sister reminds her that it is the twentieth anniversary of their family’s arrival in New York, she spends the day reflecting in solitude and over the phone with her sister about their life in the United States, trying to break the news that she has decided to go back to Japan and become a writer in her mother tongue.

Published in 1995, this formally daring novel radically broke with Japanese literary tradition. It liberally incorporated English words and phrases, and the entire text was printed horizontally, to be read from left to right, rather than vertically and from right to left. In a luminous meditation on how a person becomes a writer, Mizumura transforms the I-novel, a Japanese confessional genre that toys with fictionalization. An I-Novel tells the story of two sisters while taking up urgent questions of identity, race, and language. Above all, it considers what it means to write in the era of the hegemony of English and what it means to be a writer of Japanese in particular. Juliet Winters Carpenter masterfully renders a novel that once appeared untranslatable into English.

I haven't yet read Mizumura but I do have her Inheritance from Mother on my pile of books to read. Hoping to get to it soon.

2) Astral Season, Beastly Season by Tahi Saihate (tr. Kalau Almony)

Astral Season, Beastly Season is the debut novel by Japanese writer Tahi Saihate. The story follows Morishita and Yamashiro, two high-school boys approaching the age in life when they must choose what kind of people they want to be. When their favourite J-pop idol kills and dismembers her boyfriend, Morishita and Yamashiro unite to convince the police that their idol’s act was in fact by them. This thrilling novel is a meditation on belonging, the objectification of young popstars, and teenage alienation.

This one actually seems quite interesting. I wonder if it's supposed to be an adult or teenage/coming-of-age type novel?

maaliskuu 22, 1:13pm

That looks pretty interesting. Saihate is an established poet - I haven't seen her poems but I saw a film based on them, Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Deepest Shade of Blue, which won the Kinema Junpo Film of the Year a few years back.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 2, 8:27am

Exciting news!

The famous mystery The Village of Eight Graves by Seishi Yokomizo is getting an English translation coming out November 30th. (tr. Bryan Karetnyk)

I've read this in French and let me tell you it is fantastic. I really, truly, highly, recommend this one. Definitely pick it up.

Nestled deep in the mist-shrouded mountains, The Village of Eight Graves takes its name from a bloody legend: in the Sixteenth Century eight samurais, who had taken refuge there along with a secret treasure, were murdered by the inhabitants, bringing a terrible curse down upon their village.

Centuries later a mysterious young man named Tatsuya arrives in town, bringing a spate of deadly poisonings in his wake. The inimitably scruffy and brilliant Kosuke Kindaichi investigates.

Source: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/675956/the-village-of-eight-graves-by-s...

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 7, 2:44pm

Merci lilisin! It is hard to ignore a "really, truly, highly, definitely pick it up" recommendation! One of the perks to being able to read in French (well at least enough to get into a story, even if I don't understand every word), and living in Montréal is that I can make the most of books in both languages. I have already seen that we have this book at the library, so will check it out.

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