The new decade starts in a minor key for the publishing of Japanese literature in translation as Haikasoru — publisher of Hideo Furukawa and Taiyo Fujii among many others — goes on hiatus. A great champion of science fiction, fantasy and horror, the hole it leaves behind will not easily be filled. Let's hope the hiatus is brief.
Despite this sad news, 2020 promises to be another spectacular year for translations and books about Japan with some familiar names and some newcomers gracing the stage in the 12 months ahead.
Following on from the international success of "Convenience Store Woman," Granta is bringing Sayaka Murata's "Earthlings" to English for the first time. Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori, it tells the story of two children who believe themselves to be from another planet. When they are separated by their parents, their will to be reunited leads to, in Granta's words, "spectacular and violent consequences." This is one that should be on everyone's wish list.