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Kotaro Isaka

‘He told me he had quit his job the day after the earthquake and came out here with nothing but a sleeping bag.’

Two Poems

Hirata Toshiko

‘If I go to the window, / it could easily turn into bullets or rabbits.’


Kanako Nishi

‘I had an odd feeling as I regarded Yō, who knew things about me that I hadn’t known.’

A Ghost in Brazil

Kikuko Tsumura

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

Larger Than the Night

Masatsugu Ono

‘The night was sealed off completely – or so it seemed.’

The Hole

Hiroko Oyamada

‘The hole felt as though it was exactly my size – a trap made just for me.’


Yūshō Takiguchi

Jesse Kirkwood’s translation of ‘Nocturne’ by Yūshō Takiguchi is the winner of the 2020 Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize.


Marie-Hélène Lafon

‘He was long and white; his hands especially were long and white, and he sewed; he looked after the linen; he worked as a woman would; he lived in the house; he didn’t speak, he was rarely spoken to.’

Translated from the French by Stephanie Smee.


Guadalupe Nettel

‘Bonsai have always prompted a kind of fear in me, or at least a puzzling discomfort.’

The Flowers Look More Beautiful Now Than Ever

Mieko Kawakami

‘It’s hard to imagine a country where a lockdown would function perfectly, but in the case of Japan, which lacks basic individualism, the current situation has bred insidious hatred and division.’

Commuting Through Coronavirus

Kikuko Tsumura

‘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.’


Andrzej Tichý

‘we’re better equipped for the future than you could ever be’


Magalí Etchebarne

‘A man, my mother once told me, is a small animal that looks immense.’

I Remember

Georges Perec

Entries from Georges Perec’s I Remember, translated from the French by Philip Terry and David Bellos.