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03/11/2022 - 04/30/2022

JFNY Literary Series presents Aoko Matsuda X Polly Barton


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JFNY Literary Series invites notable writers in Japanese literature and their translators to discuss their work, speak on the art of translation, and touch upon the current literary scene in Japan.

This session of JFNY Literary Series features renowned Japanese author Aoko Matsuda and her translator Polly Barton, moderated by Hitomi Yoshio, Lucy North from the collective Strong Women, Soft Power and interpreter Bethan Jones also join the session. The English translation of Matsuda’s book Where the Wild Ladies Are won the best collection category of 2021 World Fantasy Awards.  



Aoko Matsuda is a writer and translator. In 2013, her debut book, Stackable, was nominated for the Yukio Mishima Prize and the Noma Literary New Face Prize. Her novella, The Girl Who Is Getting Married, was published by Strangers Press in the U.K. in 2016. In 2019, her short story “The Woman Dies” was short-listed for a Shirley Jackson Award. In 2021, her short story collection Where the Wild Ladies Are, published by Soft Skull Press, received World Fantasy Award and Firecracker Award. She has translated work by Karen Russell, Amelia Gray, and Carmen Maria Machado into Japanese.

Polly Barton is a writer and Japanese translator based in the UK. In 2019, she won the Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize for her debut book Fifty Sounds, a personal dictionary of the Japanese language. Her translations have featured in Granta, Catapult, The White Review, and Words Without Borders and her full length translations include Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki (Pushkin Press), Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda (Tilted Axis Press/Soft Skull), and There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura (Bloomsbury).

Hitomi Yoshio is Associate Professor of Global Japanese Literary and Cultural Studies at Waseda University. She specializes in modern and contemporary Japanese literature with a focus on women’s writing. She is also a literary translator, and her translations of Mieko Kawakami’s works have appeared in various literary journals and The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories. She received her PhD from Columbia University in 2012.


Previous Sessions

JFNY Literary Series: Kickoff Event
JFNY Literary Series: Yu Miri x Morgan Giles
JFNY Literary Series: Sayaka Murata x Ginny Tapley Takemori
JFNY Literary Series: Kanako Nishi x Allison Markin Powell
JFNY Literary Series: Hiroko Oyamada x David Boyd
JFNY Literary Series: Sachiko Kashiwaba x Avery Fischer Udagawa
JFNY Literary Series: Kyoko Nakajima X Ian MacDonald & Ginny Takemori

Watch all the episodes on YouTube.


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