JFNY Literary Series: Yu Miri x Morgan Giles
The Japan Foundation, New York have recently launched JFNY Literary Series. For this new talk series, we will be inviting 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.
The inaugural session features Yu Miri and her translator Morgan Giles. Yu’s novel Tokyo Ueno Station, which was translated by Giles, won the 2020 National Book Award for Translated Literature. They are joined by moderator Dr. Stephen Snyder, interpreter Bethan Jones, and Allison Markin Powell from the collective Strong Women, Soft Power who curate this series.
The next session will feature Sayaka Murata and her translator Ginny Tapley Takemori. Murata is an Akutagawa Prize-winning writer and the author of Convenience Store Woman and Earthlings, both of which were translated by Takemori. Click here to learn about this session.
Yu Miri is a writer of plays, prose fiction, and essays, with over twenty books to her name. She received Japan’s most prestigious literary award, the Akutagawa Prize. After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, she began to visit the affected area, hosting a radio show to listen to survivors’ stories. She relocated to Fukushima in 2015 and has opened a bookstore and theater space to continue her cultural work in collaboration with those affected by the disaster.
Morgan Giles is a translator of Japanese literature and critic. Her translation of Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri (Tilted Axis/Riverhead) won the 2020 National Book Award for Translated Literature and 2019 Translators Association First Translation Prize and has been nominated for the 2020 PEN Translation Prize. Her translations of short stories by Yu Miri, Hideo Furukawa, Hitomi Kanehara, Nao-cola Yamazaki, and others have been published in magazines including Granta and Wasafiri. Her reviews of books about Japan are regularly published in the Times Literary Supplement (UK). Born in Kentucky, she lives in London.
Dr. Stephen Snyder, Kawashima Professor of Japanese Studies at Middlebury College, serves as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Language Schools. He is the author of Fictions of Desire: Narrative Form in the Novels of Nagai Kafu (University of Hawai’i Press 2000) and has translated works by Yoko Ogawa and Kenzaburo Oe, among others. His translation of Ogawa’s Hotel Iris was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2011, and his translation of Ogawa’s Revenge was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction prize in 2014. His translation of Ogawa’s Memory Police was a finalist for National Book Award for Translated Literature and for the International Booker Prize. He is currently working on a study of the publishing industry and its effect on literary canons in translation.