The Last Children of Tokyo | Granta

  • Published: 07/06/2018
  • ISBN: 9781846276705
  • 129x20mm
  • 144 pages

The Last Children of Tokyo

Yoko Tawada

Translated by Margaret Mitsutani

Yoshiro thinks he might never die. A hundred years old and counting, he is one of Japan’s many ‘old-elderly’; men and women who remember a time before the air and the sea were poisoned, before terrible catastrophe promted Japan to shut itself off from the rest of the world. He may live for decades yet, but he knows his beloved great-grandson – born frail and prone to sickness – might not survive to adulthood. Day after day, it takes all of Yoshiro’s sagacity to keep Mumei alive.

As hopes for Japan’s youngest generation fade, a secretive organisation embarks on an audacious plan to find a cure – might Yoshiro’s great-grandson be the key to saving the last children of Tokyo?

A mini-epic of eco-terror, family drama and speculative fiction... a book unlike any other

Guardian

An open-hearted fable... Tawada's uber-isolationist neo-Japan is much less cute than Wes Anderson's. It's also much, much funnier

Financial Times

The Last Children of Tokyo has a recessive, lunar beauty... Arresting, with a flickering brilliance

Parul Sehgal, International New York Times

The Author

Yoko Tawada was born in Tokyo in 1960, moved to Hamburg when she was twenty-two, and then to Berlin in 2006. She writes in both Japanese and German, and has published several books-stories, novels, poems, plays, essays-in both languages. She has received numerous awards for her writing including the Akutagawa Prize, the Kleist-Prize, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, the Tanizaki Prize, and the Goethe Medal. New Directions publishes her story collections Where Europe Begins (with a Preface by Wim Wenders) and Facing the Bridge, and her novel of Catherine Deneuve obsession, The Naked Eye.

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The Translator

Yoko Tawada was born in Tokyo in 1960, moved to Hamburg when she was twenty-two, and then to Berlin in 2006. She writes in both Japanese and German, and has published several books-stories, novels, poems, plays, essays-in both languages. She has received numerous awards for her writing including the Akutagawa Prize, the Kleist-Prize, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, the Tanizaki Prize, and the Goethe Medal. New Directions publishes her story collections Where Europe Begins (with a Preface by Wim Wenders) and Facing the Bridge, and her novel of Catherine Deneuve obsession, The Naked Eye.

More about the translator →

From the Same Author

Yoko Tawada on Granta.com

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Scattered All Over the Earth

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‘You don’t understand. The country where I used to live is now gone.’

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The Last Children of Tokyo

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‘Encountering a real animal – not just its name – would have set Mumei’s heart on fire.’ Translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani.

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Memoirs of a Polar Bear

Yoko Tawada

‘I was perfectly content with my new life until I began to write my autobiography.’