Nichi-Yōbi News: Week 1

Welcome to another year of January in Japan and to our weekly J-Lit round up, Nichi-Yōbi NewsMomotarō and I are back to keep you informed, having scoured the Internet for nuggets of information (well, I have anyway – the peach boy is still offended by the amateurish sign…).  Shall we?

First up today, courtesy of Morgan from All Wrongs Reversed, is a great piece on the shortlist for the famous Akutagawa Prize.  The latest prize will be awarded on the 16th of January, and if you follow the link, you’ll be able to see all the shortlisted writers introduced.  Pay attention – one of these people might be the next big thing in J-Lit…

Next up, it’s a couple of interesting links I saw on Twitter earlier this week.  @EstherHawdon linked to two great examples of Nobel Laureate Kenzaburo Oe’s work.  The first is a short story entitled ‘Lavish are the Dead’, translated by John Nathan; the second is a(n unauthorised) version of Oe’s early novel Seventeen (a work which is *very* tricky to track down…) on the blog Tokyo Damage Report.  The link goes to the translation of the first part, but the blog goes on to translate more of the book in later posts.  It’s well worth a look, particularly as there’ll be more Oe coming soon on this blog (hint, hint!).

I’m sure most of you already know this, but I just thought I’d mention that Haruki Murakami’s new book, Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage, is due out in English in August – which is a long way away.  However, any of you who can read in German will be able to pick it up a lot sooner as the German translation will be out on the 10th of January!  Of course, if your Japanese is up to scratch, you’ve probably tried it already…

That’s all for this week, but don’t forget to check out what’s already happened on the blog.  We inducted Yoko Ogawa as our first female J-Lit Giant, and you have until next Thursday to enter our first giveaway, where PM Press are offering two books by Tomoyuki Hoshino.  Remember to follow the blog – there’ll be more giants, prizes and (of course) news next week.  See you then – and don’t forget to leave your J-Lit reviews for others to read!


About Tony

Championing the wonders of fiction in translation... ...but quietly (the kids are asleep...).
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6 Responses to Nichi-Yōbi News: Week 1

  1. Ally says:

    I am always happy to read Japanese Literature so I started my new year with Murakami's latest book, “Colourless Tzukuru”, which was translated into Romanian last October and just as with 1Q84, I am still impressed by the speed and eagerness the Romanian publishing house shows when it comes to Murakami's work… Anyway, being a huge fan of his work, this one does seem to rise to my expectations so far…


  2. Tony Malone says:

    Ally – Lucky you! I am tempted to get the German edition, but it's a bit pricey just to be able to read it six months before everyone else (plus my German's good but by no means perfect…).

    Still thinking… 😉


  3. Brian Bergstrom says:

    Not to detract from anyone's effort to re-translate Oe, but there in fact *is* a very fine translation of Oe's 'Seventeen' in print! It's 'Seventeen's' sequel, '政治少年死す [“Seiji shônen shisu” (the political youth dies)] that is suppressed in Japanese and untranslated into English.


  4. Josh says:

    getting on the Oe stories right away. although i have difficulty 'cracking' the work i always enjoy reading it . . .


  5. Tony Malone says:

    Brian – Yes, but the key words here are 'currently unavailable' (both at Amazon and the Book Depository). I actually had this in my basket once, only for it to disappear by the time I went to pay for it 😉


  6. Tony Malone says:

    Josh – Oe's a writer I've enjoyed too, but I haven't tried quite as much as I would have liked.


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