Dancing for the Avatar | Kō Machida | Granta

Dancing for the Avatar

Kō Machida

Translated by Polly Barton & Daniel Joseph

‘If I let myself sink down into this I’m never coming back up.’

Kō Machida

Kō Machida is a punk singer, poet, actor and novelist from Osaka. He debuted as a poet with Kyoka (Offering Flowers) in 1992, and as a novelist with Kussun daikoku (Kussun Daikoku) in 1996, which won The Noma Literary New Face Prize and Prix des Deux Magots Bunkamura. In 2000, he won the Akutagawa Prize for Kiregire (Choppy) and he won the Kawabata Yasunari Literary Prize for Gongen no odoriko (Dancing for the Avatar) in 2002, Tanizaki Jun'ichiro Prize for Kokuhaku (Confessions) in 2005, and The Noma Literary Prize for Yadoya meguri (Inn Cruise) in 2008.

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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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Translated by Daniel Joseph

Daniel Joseph is a translator, editor, and musician. He holds a master’s degree from Harvard University in medieval Japanese literature, and has translated works ranging from the eleventh century to the twenty-first. His current projects include stories by Kō Machida, a memoir by outsider folk singer Kazuki Tomokawa, and an anthology of short fiction by women’s SF pioneer Izumi Suzuki.

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