Commuting Through Coronavirus | Kikuko Tsumura | Granta

Commuting Through Coronavirus

Kikuko Tsumura

Translated by Asa Yoneda & Polly Barton

‘My friend and her colleagues are being told not to get infected. Infections among employees will affect the company’s reputation, and would be an inconvenience to clients.’

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 Asa Yoneda

Asa Yoneda was born in Osaka and translates from Japanese. She currently lives in Bristol.

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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 Kikuko Tsumura’s novel, There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job (Bloomsbury). Her debut non-fiction work, Fifty Sounds, is published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in April 2021.

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