Noted Japanese author to speak at ASU

By

Judith Smith

Prize-winning Japanese author Hirano Keiichiro will read from his work and participate in a free multilingual reading and discussion at 4:30 p.m., Sept. 6, in the Pima Auditorium of the Memorial Union, on ASU's Tempe campus.

That event will be followed by a free Public Craft Q & A with Hirano at 4:30 p.m., Sept. 10, in the University Club, on the Tempe campus.

The events are sponsored by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and co-sponsored by the Japan Foundation, the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, and the School of International Letters and Cultures at ASU.

Hirano's principal English translator, Brent de Chene, also will be present. Other discussion participants on Sept. 6 will be Souad Ali, Anthony Chambers, Sookja Cho, Anne-Catherine Dutoit, Xiaoqiao Ling, and Ileana Orlich.

Hirano, born in 1975 in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, won the Akutagawa Prize, the most prestigious literary prize in Japan, for the novel “Nisshoku” (“Eclipse”) while he was still an undergraduate at Kyoto University, making him one of the youngest-ever recipients in the 77-year history of the prize.

Hirano graduated from the Faculty of Law at Kyoto University and continued his writing career. His books and short-story collections have been widely translated, including “Soso” (“Farewell to the Departed”), “Shitatariochiru tokei-tachi no hamon” (“The Ripples of Dripping Clocks”), “Kekkai” (“Dam Break”), “Don” (“Dawn”) and “Katachi dake no ai” (“Artificial Love”).

De Chene is working on an English translation of Hirano’s novel “Eclipse.”

Chambers, who will participate in the Sept. 6 discussion, has translated Hirano’s short story "Clear Water,” which begins: “Clear water is dripping, far away. The day was unbearable, the sun scattering incessantly from the morning on. Wondering at dawn where my slumber had gone (it has stubbornly resisted company for a long time), I gazed through the curtains, marveling at the scene outside as if seeing it for the first time.” (Read the entire story here.)

For more information about the reading, call Sybil Thornton, 480-965-6552, or visit asu.edu/piper.