06 Jun / Inside and Other Short Fiction: Japanese Women by Japanese Women, foreword by Ruth Ozeki [in Christian Science Monitor]
Putting Ruth Ozeki’s name on a book’s cover is an unconditional guarantee that I will buy that book. And I’m not alone: Ozeki’s novels My Year of Meats and All Over Creation have been international successes.
The cachet associated with Ozeki’s name has apparently not gone unnoticed in the publishing world. On the cover of Inside and Other Short Fiction: Japanese Women by Japanese Women, released this month by Kodansha, only Ozeki’s name appears – “with a foreword by Ruth Ozeki” – and one must open the book to see that this is a collection of eight stories compiled by Cathy Layne (a transplanted Liverpudlian Tokyo-ite editor who also translated three of the stories), by eight different authors and four additional translators.
In spite of the fact that the eight women represented in this anthology are award-winning writers in Japan, they are virtually unknown to Western audiences, with the possible exception of Amy Yamada, whose Bedtime Eyes and Trash are available in English. But the very fact that they are not widely read abroad is exactly what makes this collection worth noting. As Ozeki writes in the foreword, these stories “paint a picture of contemporary Japanese women’s lives that is fresh, new, and possibly even shocking to readers in the West.” …[click here for more]
Published: 2006 (United States)