Sakumi Tayama was born in Miyazaki Prefecture in southern Japan in 1966 but moved to the northernmost prefecture of Japan, Hokkaido, at the age of three. After studying English literature at Fuji Women’s Junior College in Sapporo she worked in the private sector for eleven years, before moving to Sendai city in Miyagi Prefecture. Though she had been writing for some time, she did not start submitting her work to literary magazines until 2003. She was awarded the Bungakkai New Writer’s Prize in 2006 for her story, “The Hole in the Garden” (translated here) and has since published five major works, including 「かわいそうな鬼」(“The Poor Demon”) and 「霊おろし」(“The Medium”) in 2008,「代理母豚」(“The Surrogate Sow”) in 2010 and 「神さま」(“God”) in 2011.
Mark Gibeau is a lecturer of Japanese language and culture in the School of Culture, History and Languages, College of Asia and Pacific at the Australian National University in Canberra. In addition to teaching and literary translation his research interests include the writers Abe Kôbô, Murakami Haruki and Medoruma Shun--all of whom fall into the realm of non-realist fiction. Recent translations include works by Kawabata Yasunari, Komatsu Sakyo and Yamamoto Shûgorô in volumes one, two, and three of the anthology, Kaiki: Tales of the Uncanny from Japan by Kurodahan Press.