A series of events celebrating the launch of volume five of Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, a literary anthology showcasing the best in contemporary Japanese writing, is slated for this week. Founded in Tokyo in 2008 by Motoyuki Shibata, one of Japan’s most respected translators of English literature into Japanese, Monkey Business presents the best of Japanese contemporary literature by established and emerging authors. This year several events feature conversations with and readings by Aoko Matsuda, Satoshi Kitamura, Ben Katchor, Kelly Link, and Jay Rubin.
Monkey Business: Japan/America Writers’ Dialogue in Words and Pictures
Monday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m.
Asia Society – 725 Park Avenue
Tickets: $15/$12 seniors and students/$10 members (includes a complimentary copy of the latest issue of Monkey Business)
A conversation between contemporary Japanese and American authors in which Asia Society hosts an international dialogue, curated and moderated by the co-founders and editors of the Tokyo-based literary journal Monkey Business with writers who are featured in this latest edition of Monkey Business.
This year rising star Japanese novelist and translator Aoko Matsuda, whose stories in the wake of Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami have been published in English, most notably in Granta, will be paired with American short story fabulist Kelly Link and award-winning Japanese graphic novelist and cartoonist Satoshi Kitamura will be in dialogue with award-winning American cartoonist and author Ben Katchor. Moderated by Monkey Business editor Roland Kelts and the editors and co-founders of Monkey Business, Ted Goossen and Motoyuki Shibata.
To purchase tickets, please visit Asia Society’s website.
An Evening with Monkey Business
Wednesday, May 6 at 8:00 p.m.
McNally Jackson – 52 Prince Street
Independent book store McNally Jackson hosts another talk with Matsuda, Kitamura, Link, and Katchor moderated by Shibata, Goossen, and Kelts.
The Magical Art of Translation: From Haruki Murakami to Japan’s Latest Storytellers
Thursday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Japan Society – 333 E. 47th Street
Tickets: &12/$8 Japan Society members
Since 1989, Jay Rubin has translated many of Haruki Murakami’s most successful and prize-winning novels, including The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood and 1Q84. In this program, he is joined by Ted Goossen, translator of Murakami’s most recent U.S. publications, The Strange Library and Wind/Pinball: Two Early Novels, and co-editor of Monkey Business. They will discuss the unique challenges of translating modern Japanese literary works into American English, and vice versa. Rubin will also talk about his transition from translator to novelist vis-à-vis his debut novel, The Sun Gods.
Joining the discussion from Tokyo will be authors Aoko Matsuda and Satoshi Kitamura, and Motoyuki Shibata, friend and translating partner of Murakami, former University of Tokyo professor, and the Japanese translator of such American literary luminaries as Paul Auster and Thomas Pynchon. Author Roland Kelts, co-editor of Monkey Business, moderates the discussion. Followed by a reception.
To purchase tickets, please visit Japan Society’s website.