Japanese Author Hiroko Oyamada to Make NYC Appearances

Hiroko Oyamada New York Book Tour

Thursday, November 21 at 7:00 p.m.
192 Books – 192 Tenth Avenue (between 21st and 22nd Streets)
Admission: Free

Friday, November 22 from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
The Great Room at New York University – 19 University Place (at E. 8th Street)
Admission: Free

Saturday, November 23 from 2:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Kinokuniya New York – 1073 Avenue of the Americas (between 40th and 41st Streets)
Admission: Free

Japan Foundation, New York presents the New York book tour of Akutagawa Prize-winning Japanese author Hiroko Oyamada. Three events in New York this week will celebrate her English-language debut novel The Factory. The author will appear for a talk and book signing at 192 Books, NYU, and Kinokuniya New York. David Boyd, the translator of this book, will join Oyamada to discuss her work.

Hiroko Oyamada ©Shinchosha Publishing Co., Ltd / The Factory cover design © New Direction Publishing

About The Factory

In an unnamed Japanese city, three seemingly normal and unrelated characters find work at a sprawling industrial factory. They each focus intently on their specific jobs: One studies moss, one shreds paper, and the other proofreads incomprehensible documents. Life in the factory has its own logic and momentum, and, eventually, the factory slowly expands and begins to take over everything, enveloping these poor workers. The very margins of reality seem to be dissolving: All forms of life capriciously evolve, strange creatures begin to appear… After a while—it could be weeks or years—the workers don’t even have the ability to ask themselves: Where does the factory end and the rest of the world begin?

Told in three alternating first-person narratives, The Factory casts a vivid—if sometimes surreal—portrait of the absurdity and meaninglessness of modern life.

About the Author

Often referred to as the “Japanese female Kafka” and “one of the most powerfully strange young voices in Japan,” Hiroko Oyamada is a Hiroshima native. She won the Shincho Prize for New Writers for The Factory, which draws from her experiences working as a temp for an automaker’s subsidiary. Her following novel, The Hole, won the Akutagawa Prize, one of Japan’s most prestigious literary prizes.

About the Translator

David Boyd is Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has translated stories by Genichiro Takahashi, Masatsugu Ono, and Toh EnJoe, among others. His translation of Hideo Furukawa’s Slow Boat won the 2017/2018 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. With Sam Bett, he is co-translating the novels of Mieko Kawakami.

For more information about Hiroko Oyamada, please visit Japan Foundation, New York’s website.

Feature image: Hiroko Oyamada ©Shinchosha Publishing Co., Ltd / The Factory cover design © New Direction Publishing

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