Barry Yourgrau is a New York-based fiction writer, whose work has been translated into Japanese by noted translator, Motoyuki Shibata. The following essay about Yourgrau’s experience living through the COVID-19 pandemic and the collection of stories it inspired was originally published on the website Literary Hub (lithub.com) on Oct. 16, 2020.

I’m a writer specializing in very short fiction with a surrealist tinge. Starting in April, as the sirens wailed out my window in locked-down New York, I took to writing fable-like stories, and sending them — as emotional dispatches from a city in trauma — to Motoyuki Shibata, my longtime Japanese translator, in Tokyo. Quickly gathered into a little chapbook, these dispatches seem to have struck a deep chord halfway around the world.

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