Registration Closed: Invitation email will be sent on September 10th.
Translated Dead or Alive: deceased (or otherwise unavailable) authors, and further challenges of literary translation
Louise Heal Kawai is the translator of recently-released The Honjin Murders by Yokomizo Seishi, the first of 77 novels featuring the iconic fictional detective Kindaichi Kosuke. With reference to that novel in particular, along with examples from her other translations, she talks about some of the challenges of being a literary translator. Often asked, "How closely do you work with an author?" she discusses what to do when liaison with the author is impossible. How much freedom does a literary translator have in word choice and interpretation? How much to leave in Japanese and how much explanation to include. Are some Japanese words “untranslatable”? What to do about a huge cast of characters. Dialect choices (and how inevitably you can’t please all of the people all of the time.) How working for a UK publisher differs from working for a Japanese one, and more. Questions are encouraged! (This session will be delivered in English.)
Louise Heal Kawai
Louise was born in Manchester, UK, but has been a resident of Japan for over twenty-five years, and a translator of Japanese literature for the past fifteen. Her crime fiction translations include The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo, Murder in the Crooked House by Soji Shimada, and A Quiet Place by the mystery writer Seicho Matsumoto. In 2017 she translated Ms Ice Sandwich, the first of Mieko Kawakami’s novels to appear in English. Her translation of Seventeen (クライマーズ・ハイ) by Hideo Yokoyama was longlisted for the 2019 Best Translated Book Award. She has recently translated several short stories by authors including Mizuki Tsujimura, Kozue Osaki, Kanae Minato, Alice Arisugawa, Takemaru Abiko, Jiro Akagawa and Soji Shimada for the Covid-19 themed Day to Day project on Kodansha’s tree-novel.com.
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