In recent years, Japanese literature has earned a reputation abroad for its edgy, socially-conscious fiction, which translator Stephen Snyder, 63, has had a hand in encouraging. Snyder has translated titles like “Coin Locker Babies” by Ryu Murakami, “Out” by Natsuo Kirino and last year’s finalist for the International Booker Prize, “The Memory Police” by Yoko Ogawa, which take on issues such as abandoned children, marginalized female factory workers and the role of literature in oppressed societies.

Snyder says how he chooses what to translate is “completely random.”

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