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Words Without Borders “stands as a monument to international collaboration and a shared belief in artistic possibility.”
— 2018 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize Citation

August 2012

New Writing from Japan, Part II

Image: Masaru Tatsuki, Mt. Osore in Winter, 2010. Lambda print, 60cm x 60cm

Guest Editor Michael Emmerich,

The second part of our double issue of Japanese writing presents writing grounded in the everyday, with uncertainty and confusion roiling underneath. Guest editor Michael Emmerich has selected pieces about ordinary people in ordinary situations, struggling with discontent and longing for change. In two tales of plastic surgery, Aso Nonami shows a woman in the grip of obsession and deception, and Akutagawa Prize-winner Kawakami Mieko looks at breasts and implants. Young sensation Wataya Risa finds an alienated high-school girl trying to throw out her life, while Motoya Yukiko's numb young woman drifts through her early twenties.  Sakurai Suzumo sets marital discord against the devastation of March 11; Tsushima Yūko sees a day at the beach turn dark; and Nomura Kiwao evokes the landscape of childhood. The issue is produced in partnership with the British Centre for Literary Translation. We thank the BCLT, and David Karashima and the Nippon Foundation, for their generous support. Elsewhere, the great Adonis introduces Egyptian poet Abdel-Moneim Ramadan.

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Book Reviews

Sergio Chejfec’s “The Planets”

Reviewed by Mythili G. Rao

"The Planets" considers the impact of friendship—and its loss—in cosmic terms.

Carlos Fuentes’s “Vlad”

Reviewed by Heather Cleary

Few monsters have weathered the years with greater aplomb.

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