Literary translation is a balancing act. I love juggling words to share great stories written in Japanese with English readers.
I had a long career as a commercial translator until one book changed my life: a travel memoir about art student Aya Goda's journey through China and Tibet in 1989 during the turmoil of Tiananmen. Riveted by this tale, I burned to share it with the Engish-speaking world, too. Long story short, my translation was eventually published as TAO: On the Road and on the Run in Outlaw China (Portobello) and I became hooked on literary translation.
Since then I have translated the international bestseller Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa, Spark by Naoki Matayoshi (the Japanese publishing phenomenon that was made into a Netflix series), The Aosawa Murders (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 2020) and Fish Swimming in Dappled Sunlight by Riku Onda, and The Boy and the Dog by Seishu Hase.
In 2021 I won the Kyoko Selden Memorial Prize for Translation for an excerpt from Durian Sukegawa’s travel memoir A Dosimeter on the Narrow Road to Oku.
When not translating, I like to walk my dog, do sashiko Japanese embroidery and hike in the mountains of Japan.
- Review of THE BOY AND THE DOG in New York Journal of Books
- Review of THE BOY AND THE DOG in Publishers Weekly
- Review of FISH SWIMMING IN DAPPLED SUNLIGHT in The New York Times
- Review of FISH SWIMMING IN DAPPLED SUNLIGHT in The Japan Times
- FISH SWIMMING IN DAPPLED SUNLIGHT selected as June 2022 book of the month for Harrogate Festivals
- Review of FISH SWIMMING IN DAPPLED SUNLIGHT by Laurence Green for The Japan Society
- Starred review in Publishers Weekly of FISH SWIMMING IN DAPPLED SUNLIGHT By Riku Onda, Bitter Lemon Press, June 2022
- Profile of me in a series celebrating forty years of coeducation at St Mark's College in Adelaide
- Interview with me about SWEET BEAN PASTE for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Japan Chapter blog.