The Transnational Series welcomes two prominent Japanese translators to discuss their work and their most recent translations.
Allison Markin Powell is a literary translator, editor, and publishing consultant. Her translation of Hiromi Kawakami’s Strange Weather in Tokyo was nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Her other translations include works by Osamu Dazai, Fuminori Nakamura, and Kanako Nishi. She lives in New York City, and maintains the database Japanese Literature in English.
Sawako Nakayasu is an artist working with language, performance, and translation – separately and in various combinations. She has lived mostly in the US and Japan, briefly in France and China, and translates from Japanese. Her books include The Ants, Mouth: Eats Color – Sagawa Chika Translations, Anti-translations, & Originals (a multilingual work of both original and translated poetry), and Costume en Face (a translation of a handwritten notebook of Tatsumi Hijikata’s dance notations). She is co-editor, with Lisa Samuels, of A Transpacific Poetics, a gathering of poetry and poetics engaging transpacific imaginaries.
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.