Writers on Writing: Author Mitsuyo Kakuta in conversation with Rui Umezawa
The Japan Foundation, Toronto is pleased to invite you to join us as local writer Rui Umezawa interviews one of the most popular and prolific authors working in Japan today. Known in particular for her assertive, individualistic female protagonists, Mitsuyo Kakuta will discuss the various struggles her characters face, and how they deal with the various social pressures they are under. The writers will also discuss current trends in Canadian literature, and how Ms. Kakuta’s novels, which have been translated into multiple languages, are received in different cultures.
About the Speakers:
Mitsuyo Kakuta is one of the most popular and prolific female novelists active in Japan today. She is the author of over 80 works of long and short fiction, as well as numerous essays. Her debut novel, written while she was still a university student, was awarded the Kaien Prize for New Writers in 1990. She received the 2005 Naoki Prize for Woman on the Other Shore, the 2007 Chuo Koron Literary Prize for The Eighth Day, and the 2012 Renzaburo Shibata Prize for Pale Moon. The Eighth Day was made into a televised drama and sold more than a million copies, making her one of Japan’s best-selling authors. Both The Eighth Day and Pale Moon have been made into highly acclaimed films. Earlier this year she collaborated with Yasuhisa Yoshikawa on the publication of a condensed Japanese translation of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past.
Rui Umezawa is a Toronto essayist and novelist whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Descant Magazine and elsewhere. He is the author of a martial arts terminology book, The Empty Hand, and an illustrated children’s book, Aiko’s Flowers (illustrated by Yuji Ando). His adult novel, The Truth About Death and Dying was called “a dazzling tour-de-force” by Canadian Literature, and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize for Best First Book (Canada and the Caribbean). His latest book, Strange Light Afar: Tales of the Supernatural from Old Japan, was published in September 2015 by Groundwood Books.