There was an announcement: Lettuce angel men. We aren’t countering some tab bulence. Please retahn to yah seat at thees time and fasten yah seat belt. Satsuki had been letting her mind wander, and so it took her a while to decipher the Thai steward’s shaky Japanese.
Top Reads 2021
‘It’s no good joining an existing cult, you have to start one yourself.’
A short story by Japanese author Sayaka Murata, translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori, who also brought us Convenience Store Woman and Earthlings.
Have You Met Husband?
‘The oysters were her idea, a way of catching me off guard. I accidentally said yes.’
A story by Amy Silverberg.
‘I often had head lice as a child.’
Memoir by A.K. Blakemore, author of The Manningtree Witches.
A Bleed of Blue
‘I was trying simultaneously to numb the grief I felt and to burrow into that grief, so I could stand in it.’
On love, its absence and Joni Mitchell’s Blue album.
‘I want the poem to destroy time. / What are the ceremonies of forgetting?’
Nick Laird’s elegy for his father, Alastair Laird, who died of Covid-19.
Translated by Jay Rubin
Jay Rubin has a PhD in Japanese literature from the University of Chicago. His translations include the story collection Rashōmon and Seventeen Other Stories, by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, The Miner, by Sōseki Natsume and Haruki Murakami’s novels The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood, After Dark and books one and two of 1Q84.More about the translator →