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03/11/2021 - 04/22/2021

JFNY Literary Series: Sayaka Murata x Ginny Tapley Takemori


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 features Sayaka Murata and her translator Ginny Tapley Takemori, moderated by literary critic John Freeman. Lucy North from the collective Strong Women, Soft Power who curate this series and interpreter Bethan Jones also join the session. Murata is an Akutagawa Prize-winning writer and the author of Convenience Store Woman and Earthlings, both of which were translated by Takemori.

The Japan Foundation supported the English publications of Convenience Store Woman and Earthlings through the Support Program for Translation and Publication on Japan.

The third session of the series will feature Kanako Nishi and her translator Allison Markin Powell. Click here to learn more about the next session and Nishi’s work. We invite questions for the guest to be submitted via the online form by April 5, 5pm EDT.


Sayaka Murata is the author of many books, including Convenience Store Woman, winner of Japan’s most prestigious literary award, the Akutagawa Prize. She used to work part-time in a convenience store, which inspired this novel. Murata has been named a Freeman’s “Future of New Writing” author, and her work has appeared in Granta and elsewhere. In 2016, Vogue Japan selected her as a Woman of the Year.

Ginny Tapley Takemori has translated fiction by over a dozen early modern and contemporary Japanese authors. Her translation of Sayaka Murata’s bestselling Convenience Store Woman was awarded the 2020-2021 Lindsley and Masao Miyoshi Prize. Her translations of Kyoko Nakajima’s Naoki prizewinning The Little House was published in 2019, and Sayaka Murata’s Earthlings in 2020. She lives in Japan.

John Freeman is the editor of Freeman’s, a literary annual of new writing, and executive editor at Alfred A. Knopf. His books include How to Read a Novelist and Dictionary of the Undoing, as well as Tales of Two Americas, an anthology about income inequality in America, and Tales of Two Planets, an anthology of new writing about inequality and the climate crisis globally. He is also the author of two collections of poems, Maps and The Park. His work is translated into more than twenty languages, and has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The New York Times. The former editor of Granta, he teaches writing at New York University.

Previous Sessions

JFNY Literary Series: Kickoff Event
JFNY Literary Series: Yu Miri x Morgan Giles

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