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“Granta 127” (Featuring Japan)

I’m preparing for the next term, reading “Granta 127”. Personally, I like this book partly because it has some beautiful images (together with great stories of course!) interspersed throughout the book.

“A Clean Marriage”, a catchy title. That is the first story we’ll be reading and discussing in two weeks’ time. I’ve read “Earthlings” and “Convenience Store Woman” by Sayaka Murata. She has her own distinctive world. Whenever I read her books, my mind comes to be filled with ‘dissonance’. Still, I find myself attracted to her world all the more for that. This story is another quintessential one of Murata. I’m very happy to start this superb collection with this unique author. In this term, we’ll be also reading Toshiki Okada, who got Oe Kenzaburo Prize (chosen by Oe himself!), and Kyoko Nakajima, who was awarded Naoki Prize, which is one of the most coveted literary prizes in Japan. Last, but not least, we’ll also deal with a short story by David Mitchell, a noted English author. The title is “Variations on a Theme by Mister Donut”. By the way, Mister Donut is one of the most popular doughnut chains in Japan, an equivalent of Dunkin’ Donuts in America (Murakami’s favorite). Looking at the title, what variations can Mister Donut offer, I wonder. I am about to read it with some doughnuts (the signature Pon de Rings) from Mr. Donut. I hope my donuts today will add some variations to the story as well. Have you ever eaten donuts from Mr. Donut? What is your favorite doughnut or store? If you want to discover new stories or authors (all contemporary), join us! It would be great if we could have heated discussion over a cup of coffee and some comforting donuts! If you haven’t taken my classes yet, you can try one class for free as well.

Lineup for this term: 1. 10/23 (Sun) Yoshiki Hayama “Letter Found in a Cement-Barrel & The Prostitute” (Tuttle) 2. 10/30 (Sun) Sayaka Murata “A Clean Marriage” 3. 11/6 (Sun) Toshiki Okada “Breakfast” 4. 11/13 (Sun) David Mitchell “Variations on a Theme by Mister Donut” 5. 11/20 (Sun) Kyoko Nakajima “Things Remembered and Things Forgotten”

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