We’re very much looking forward to meeting Japanese writer and translator, Aoko Matsuda, when she arrives in Norwich for her residency at the beginning of August. Read her introduction below and what she hopes to focus on during her stay.

I have four short story collections published in Japan so far, and now I am working on new writing about female writers and translators.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how I have always been fascinated with the stories written by female writers and how I grew up with them. I was a kid who was very into children’s literature from overseas and many of my favourites were introduced into Japan by female translators. For instance, Momoko Ishii, who was a great translator and also a brilliant writer, introduced a surprising amount of children’s literature including the series of Winnie-the-Pooh and Peter Rabbit. She lived to be one hundred one years old and she never married and never gave up her work, even in her nineties. Every time I think of her, I am overwhelmed by her strong will and unswerving passion. I strongly feel that she and other female writers and translators created a part of me inside, and I owe a lot to them. So, I somehow try to write a novel to embrace their works and lives. I have not yet come up with the right idea for doing this, but hopefully, focusing on this writing project in Norwich will give me a clue.

About Aoko

Aoko Matsuda, born in 1979, has published four collections of stories. English translations of her work include “Photographs Are Images” and “Love Isn’t Easy When You Are The National Anthem” (trans. Jeffrey Angles) in Monkey Business, “Smartening Up” (trans. Polly Barton) in Granta, and “Planting” published as part of the Waseda Bungaku Japan Earthquake Charity Literature project (trans. Angus Turvill). She has also translated into Japanese Karen Russell’s St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and Vampires in the Lemon Grove, and Amelia Gray’s AM/PM.