Posts Tagged ‘Big Bang’

Summer’s End

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

A word from my son, Nate —

As some of you may already know, in addition to administrating this website, I work as a freelance Japanese to English translator. In the spirit of crass nepotism, I’d like to hijack this week’s post to announce the release of my first book-length translation, SUMMER, FIREWORKS, AND MY CORPSE: a collected novel, novella, and short story by suspense/horror writer Otsuichi.

The titular SUMMER, FIREWORKS, AND MY CORPSE, Otsuichi’s breakout suspense novella (written when he was only sixteen), follows a nine-year-old girl who dies during summer vacation. While her two friends-turned-killers attempt to hide her body from their families and the police, we watch from the point of view of the girl’s dead body. It’s a simple story with an interesting narrative twist.

The collection follows with “Yuko,” a short story set in post-war Japan. A young woman is starting her first job as the lone servant in a mansion home to a reclusive author and his wife. But as weeks pass with no actual sign of the wife’s existence, the servant begins to fear for her master’s sanity.

The third and final selection, BLACK FAIRY TALE, is a novel of classic Japanese horror. In it, a girl loses her eye in an accident and receives a transplant. Her new eye contains visions of the experiences and memories of its previous — deceased — owner. The girl, her own memories gone, finds herself estranged from her old family and friends and becomes drawn to the past life of her eye’s donor. But as she seeks to discover the donor’s fate, she soon finds herself in mortal danger.

As you can see, there’s a lot packed into this book, and there’s a lot to like. Otsuichi deftly mixes the creepy and the supernatural with a grounding in slice-of-life Japan, and the twists and turns are surprising, but never cheap or dishonest. I am very lucky to have worked with such captivating and well-written source material, making my first book-length published translation something I can be proud of. I hope you’ll check it out!

We’ll now return to your regularly scheduled update:

Very proud of Nate – I read this book in galley proofs, and it’s excellent. Can’t wait to lay hands on an actual copy.
Here’s a small but nice BIG BANG review (those seem to finally be winding down).

And here’s a link to an appearance I made last May at the legendary Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City. (And here’s a link of the same with audio only.) It’s about an hour – I discuss THE BIG BANG and read a brief selection, then answer a few questions. They have signed copies and you can write them here for info about mail-ordering one:

For those of you in the eastern Iowa area, Crusin’ will play at the Elms Restaurant, 2108 Grandview Avenue, from 8 to 11 on Friday, Oct. 1. Muscatine’s River Drive is blocked by road construction and you should use the bypass.

Work continues on the live Crusin’ CD culled from soundboard recordings last August. Twenty songs including around seven originals. It’s designed for promo purposes but I’ll sell a limited number here.

Here are some things Barb and I enjoyed over the weekend: the solid crime film THE TOWN; the new Weezer CD, “Hurley”; and the eighth season of the electrifying British show Spooks (aka MI-5), thanks to our all-regions DVD player (and Amazon UK).