Virtual Book Club
Since the onset of COVID-19 we have moved our book club online, meeting on Zoom. To keep up to date with our events, join our mailing list, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Connect with other book club members in our Facebook group. If you have any questions, email us at email@example.com.
Our next Book Club meeting will be on Tuesday 4th August at 8pm (BST). We’ll be discussing Matsuda Aoko’s book, Where the Wild Ladies Are (Tilted Axis Press), translated from Japanese. The translator, Polly Barton, will be joining us for our discussion, taking place on Zoom. The book can be purchased directly from the publisher’s website. An epub edition is also available.
To register, click here:
Witty, inventive, and profound, Where the Wild Ladies Are is a contemporary feminist retelling of traditional ghost stories by one of Japan’s most exciting writers. It is the winner of an English PEN award.
In a company run by the mysterious Mr Tei, strange things are afoot – incense sticks lead to a surprise encounter; a young man reflects on his mother’s death; a foxlike woman finally finds her true calling. As female ghosts appear in unexpected guises, their gently humorous encounters with unsuspecting humans lead to deeper questions about emancipation and recent changes in Japanese women’s lives.
Keen to get a taste of the book? One of the stories has been published in Granta, and is free to read online.
“(S)mart and formally inventive (…) Beauty, jealousy and women’s place in Japanese society are all explored in stories which are funny, strange and intriguing.” – Tatler
“In 2020, taking a collection of traditional Japanese ghost stories and crafting them into often humorous yet painfully relevant tales is a move of pure genius by Aoko Matsuda. (…) Witty, biting, and poignant, Matsuda’s collection is a pleasantly haunting surprise.” – Jessica Esa, Metropolis
Aoko Matsuda is a writer and translator. In 2013, her debut book, Stackable, was nominated for the Mishima Yukio Prize and the Noma Literary New Face Prize. In 2019, her short story ‘The Woman Dies’ (from the collection The Year of No Wild Flowers), published on Granta online, was shortlisted for a Shirley Jackson Award. Her novella The Girl Who Is Getting Married was published by Strangers Press in 2016. She has translated work by Karen Russell, Amelia Gray and Carmen Maria Machado into Japanese.
Polly Barton is a translator of Japanese literature and non-fiction, currently based in Bristol. She has translated short stories for Words Without Borders, The White Review and GRANTA. Her full-length translations include Friendship for Grown-ups by Naocola Yamazaki and Mikumari by Misumi Kubo (both Strangers Press) and Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki (Pushkin Press). After being awarded the 2019 Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize, she is currently working on a non-fiction book entitled Fifty Sounds.
Book Club for Sixth Formers
We're very excited to be holding a book club especially for young language-learners at the end of this term. This event is open to all those studying a language at A Level, and takes place on Wednesday 22 July. Click here for full info.
Previous book clubs: