A Ghost in Brazil | Kikuko Tsumura | Granta

A Ghost in Brazil

Kikuko Tsumura

Translated by Polly Barton

‘I was ever so keen to visit the Aran Islands, but unfortunately, I died before ever making it out of Japan.’

Kikuko Tsumura

Kikuko Tsumura was born in Osaka, Japan. In her first job out of college, Tsumura experienced workplace harassment and quit after ten months to retrain and find another position, an experience that inspired her to write stories about young workers. She has won numerous Japanese literary awards including the Akutagawa Prize and the Noma Literary New Face Prize, and her first short story translated into English, ‘The Water Tower and the Turtle’, won a PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology recognized Tsumura’s work with a New Artist award in 2016. There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job, her first novel to be translated into English, will be published by Bloomsbury in November 2020.

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Translated by Polly Barton

Polly Barton is a translator of Japanese literature and non-fiction, currently based in Bristol. Her most recent full-length translations include Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki (Pushkin Press) and Where the Wild Ladies Are by Matsuda Aoko (Tilted Axis/Soft Skull Press), and her translation of Kikuko Tsumura’s novel, There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job, will be out with Bloomsbury in November 2020. Her debut non-fiction work, Fifty Sounds, will be published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in April 2021.

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