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Paul Mccarthy

For Paul Mccarthy's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Modern cat tale echoes former feline fiction

May 31, 2014

Modern cat tale echoes former feline fiction

That the Japanese are great cat-lovers should come as no surprise: a taste for the elegant, the mysterious and the quirky leads in a feline direction, after all. There are paintings of cats from the classical period of the imperial court and prints from ...

Making Kobayashi's works sound as if written today

Sep 14, 2013

Making Kobayashi's works sound as if written today

For most readers, Japanese literature may suggest romantic/erotic works by Nagai Kafu, elegantly classical and humorously or sinisterly “kinky” fiction by Tanizaki, or coolly stylish contemporary works by Haruki Murakami. For such readers, this volume will come as a shock — both refreshing and ...

Evocative novel bridges Japan and China, past and present

Aug 10, 2013

Evocative novel bridges Japan and China, past and present

That the Western world has lost interest in Japan, and particularly in Japanese literature, and is turning its attention more and more to the colossus across the sea (China, not America) is a constant plaint on the part of Japan specialists and translators. JASMINE, ...

Complete translation of 'Kafu's first masterpiece'

Jun 30, 2013

Complete translation of 'Kafu's first masterpiece'

The English reader has in this volume a complete translation of works of fiction, interspersed with thinly disguised autobiography and essay-like passages, composed by a young Japanese man who was to go on to become one of the finest Japanese writers of the 20th ...

Revealing the many masks of Mishima

May 5, 2013

Revealing the many masks of Mishima

This is a whale of a book — both unusually massive and extremely informative and stimulating. The title means “mask” in Latin and is probably an allusion to Yukio Mishima’s first full-length novel, “Confessions of a Mask,” published in Japan in 1949 and translated ...

Kanai's provocative, textured 'girls' fiction' wistfully surprises

Feb 17, 2013

Kanai's provocative, textured 'girls' fiction' wistfully surprises

INDIAN SUMMER, by Mieko Kanai, translated by Tomoko Aoyama and Barbara Hartley. Cornell East Asia Series, 2012, 149 pp., $24 (paperback) Mieko Kanai is a prolific and provocative contemporary author whose poetry and short stories have been appearing in English since the 1970s and ...

Epiphanies for characters, readers

Jan 19, 2013

Epiphanies for characters, readers

WE, THE CHILDREN OF CATS, by Tomoyuki Hoshino, edited and translated by Brian Bergstrom with an additional translation by Lucy Fraser. PM Press, 2012, 266 pages, $20 (paperback) In a moving preface to the English translation, author Tomoyuki Hoshino speaks of his love for ...

| Dec 23, 2012

U.S. essays, Japan's Christians

It may seem like cheating, but my first best book of 2012 is “The Best American Essays of 2012″ (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), part of the Best American Series. I read it each year and am never disappointed. This year’s selection was made by David ...

Dec 2, 2012

Translated version of famous Hayashi work has its vicissitudes

FLOATING CLOUDS, by Fumiko Hayashi, translated by Lane Dunlop. Columbia University Press, 2012, 303 pp., $25 (paperback) This novel is one of the most famous of female author Fumiko Hayashi’s works. The present translation was done by Lane Dunlop, well-known for his earlier translations ...