Novelist Paul Auster, poet Charles Simic, novelist and critic Gen'ichiro Takahashi, and tanka poet Mina Ishikawa engage in a cross-cultural dialogue between American and Japanese writers. Ted Goossen and Motoyuki Shibata, co-editors of the literary journal Monkey Business, facilitate the conversation.
Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Man in the Dark, Travels in the Scriptorium, Brooklyn Follies, and Oracle Night. I Thought My Father Was God, the NPR National Story Project anthology, which he edited, was a national bestseller.
His work has been translated into thirty-five languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Ted Goossen (b. 1948), translator and moderator, teaches Japanese literature and film at York University in Toronto. He is the general editor of The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories and has published translations of stories and essays by Hiromi Kawakami, Haruki Murakami, Yōko Ogawa, Sachiko Kishimoto, and Naoya Shiga, among others.
Mina Ishikawa (b. 1980) is one of the new voices in a 1,500-year-old tradition, tanka poetry. "Urashima" appeared in the sixth issue of the Japanese Monkey Business. Her latest work, The Lighthouse on My Desk, is a collaboration with photographer/printer Yuki Hashime. Visit their website at www.yaginoki.com.
Motoyuki Shibata is a translator of English works into Japanese, in particular the novels of Paul Auster.
Charles Simic (b. 1938) was appointed fifteenth Poet Laureate Consultant to the Library of Congress in 2007. His books include The World Doesn't End (Mariner Books), Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell (New York Review of Books), A Fly in the Soup: Memoirs (University of Michigan Press), and The Voice at 3:00 A.M.: Selected Late and New Poems (Mariner Books).
Gen'ichirō Takahashi (b. 1951) is the author of 18 books of fiction, as well as more than two dozen books of essays. His novel Sayanora, Gangsters was translated by Michel Emmerich in 2008 (Vertical). He is an active social commentator and has written widely about the post-March 11 situation in Japan. "Dear Cindy" appeared in the twelfth issue of the Japanese Monkey Business.