Review of Inside and Other Short Fiction by various, edited by Cathy Lyne

The tagline on the cover of this provocative anthology pretty much sums it up in a nutshell: “Japanese women by Japanese women.” Featuring eight short stories and a foreword by novelist Ruth Ozeki, “Inside and Other Short Fiction” is a gritty introduction to contemporary writers who explore the issue of female identity.

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ruth-ozekiAuthors, editors, publishers and translators gather with book fans this week to celebrate the second Tokyo International Literary Festival, which features 10 days of readings and workshops alongside more than two dozen events at venues ranging from coffee shops to embassies.

Participants who attended the inaugural event last year waxed lyrical about its ability to bring people with a common interest together to discuss current trends in the industry. “I think the interaction at the event has the potential to take root and influence Japanese literature,” Akutagawa Prize-winner Mieko Kawakami told The Nippon Foundation.

ruth-ozekiBeth Jones is moved by the coming-of-age story at the heart of a time-bending novel (The Telegraph)

American-Japanese author Ruth Ozeki’s third novel opens with a bad pun by a suicidal Tokyo schoolgirl: “My name is Nao, and I am a time being… someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and everyone of us who is, or was, or ever will be,” she begins, addressing the unknown reader of her diary. “Together we’re making magic, at least for the time being.”

TheLowlandMan Booker Prize 2013 shortlist announced: Jim Crace leads the six authors with his swan song Harvest, reports The Independent

Three Asian writers, Indian-American Jhumpa Lahiri, New Zealander Eleanor Catton and Japanese-American Ruth Ozeki have made it to the Man Booker Prize 2013 shortlist, which was announced today.

Other contenders on the list are Colm Tóibín, NoViolet Bulawayo and Jim Crace. Jim Crace, with Harvest, is already being touted as the “marginal favourite” to take the top literary prize, The Independent said.