A reading with Suga Keijiro, Kimura Yūsuke, Doug Slaymaker and Michael Bourdaghs

Monday, May 13, 2019 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Suga Keijiro, Kimura Yūsuke and Doug Slaymaker

Join us for a reading and discussion with Suga Keijiro on Transit Blues and Kimura Yūsuke and Doug Slaymaker on Sacred Cesium Ground and Isa’s Deluge.

Presented in partnership with Center for East Asian Studies, University of Chicago

At the Co-op

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About the books: Transit Blues is the first English-language collection of the poetry of Suga Keijiro, one of contemporary Japan’s leading poets and translators. A Spanish-language translation of the collection is also available.

In the two novellas Sacred Cesium Ground and Isa’s Deluge, Kimura Yūsuke explores human and animal life in northern Japan after the natural and nuclear disasters of March 11, 2011. Kimura inscribes the “Triple Disaster” into a rich regional tradition of storytelling, incorporating far-flung voices and experiences to testify to life and the desire to represent it in the aftermath of calamity.

About the authors: Suga Keijiro (b.1958) is a Tokyo-based poet and critic who is professor of critical theory in the graduate program Places, Arts, and Consciousness at Meiji University's School of Science and Technology. He has published eleven books of essays of which critical travelogue Transversal Journeys (2009) was awarded the Yomiuri Prize for Literature in 2011. He is also the author of five collections of poetry in Japanese. His most recent book of poetry is in English and published by the University of Canberra and titled Transit Blues. In 2018, he has been invited to read at UNESCO (Paris), UCLA, the Universities of Trier and Canberra, and the International Poetry Festival in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Kimura Yūsuke was born in 1970 in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture. He began writing fiction while in college and won the Subaru Literary Prize in 2009 for his debut work, Umineko tsurīhausu (Catgull Treehouse). In 2012 Isa no hanran (Isa’s Deluge), a novella addressing conditions following the 2011 Tōhoku disasters, was shortlisted for the Mishima Yukio Prize, and in 2014 Seichi shī-esu (Cesium Sacred Ground) was shortlisted for the Noma Prize for Literature. Sacred Cesium Ground and Isa’s Deluge are the first of his works to be translated into English.

About the translator: Doug Slaymaker is professor of Japanese at the University of Kentucky, USA. His research focuses on literature and art of the twentieth century, with particular interest in the literature of post-3.11 Japan, and of animals and the environment. This will become a book entitled Between Animals and Disaster: Representing Life after 3.11. Other research projects examine Japanese writers and artists traveling to France. He is the translator of Kimura Yūsuke’s Sacred Cesium Ground and Isa’s Deluge and Furukawa Hideo’s Horses, Horses, in the End the Light Remains Pure (Columbia University Press).

About the interlocutor: Michael Bourdaghs is the Robert S. Ingersoll Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the College at the University of Chicago.

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637