Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 9, 2011: Japanese and Canadian Writers in Conversation

The Japan Foundation, in collaboration with a group of Japanese and Canadian authors, is organizing a series of creative events in early September to help celebrate the Canadian launch of Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, the first annual English edition of the acclaimed Japanese literary magazine.

The first event, "Japanese and Canadian Writers in Conversation", will take place on Friday, September 9 at The Japan Foundation. Featured at this event will be novelists Hiromi Kawakami and Eric McCormack and poets Minoru Ozawa and Rob Winger. It promises to be a fun and revealing look into the way creative people in Japan are dealing with recent events.

Friday, September 9, 2011
6:30 p.m.
at The Japan Foundation
131 Bloor Street West
2nd floor of The Colonnade
Admission: FREE
RSVP: or 416-966-1600 x 103

This event is in English and Japanese with English interpretation. For more information, please call 416-966-1600 or e-mail

Hiromi Kawakami has written nine novels and several short story collections. She won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize in 1996 for Hebi wo Fumu (Tread on a Snake); in 2000 she won the Ito Sei Literature Prize and the Woman Writer's Prize for Oboreru (Drowning); and in 2001 she won the Tanizaki Prize for Sensei no Kaban (The Briefcase), which is being translated by Allison Powell and will be published by Counterpoint Press in 2012. Michael Emmerich's translation of her novel Manazuru was published by Counterpoint in 2010. She writes the serial People from My Neighborhood, a collection of vignettes, for Monkey Business, a part of which appeared in the first English issue of Monkey Business.

Eric McCormack came from Scotland to Canada in 1966 and taught literatureat St. Jerome's University, Waterloo till his retirement in 2004. His books have been published in a number of languages, most recently Russian and Chinese. His first novel, The Paradise Motel (1989) won the Scottish Council Book Prize. Other works have been short listed for various awards: a story collection, Inspecting the Vaults (Commonwealth Writers Prize, 1987); the novels, First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (Governor General's Award, 1997) and The Dutch Wife (City of Toronto Book Award, 2002). His stories have been included in such anthologies as The Oxford Book of Canadian Ghost Stories and The Oxford Book of Scottish Short Stories.

Minoru Ozawa is a leading haiku poet, and edits the highly regarded haiku journal Sawa. He won the Haiku Poet Association New Poet Award with his second collection Ryuuzou (Statue) in 1998; his 2005 collection Shunkan (TheMoment) was awarded the Yomiuri Prize for Literature; and Haiku no Hajimaru Basho (Where the Haiku Begins), a book-length essay on the art of haiku, won the Haiku Poet Association Criticism Award. He teaches at Atomi Gakuen Women's University and Waseda University . His haiku on monkeys appeared in the first English issue of Monkey Business.

Rob Winger grew up country in small-town Ontario. His first book, Muybridge's Horse, was named a Globe and Mail Best Book for 2007, and was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award, Ottawa Book Award and Trillium Book Award for Poetry. An active editor and teacher, Rob completed his PhD in literature and cultural studies while writing his second collection, The Chimney Stone (2010), a book of ghazals. Rob and his family live in the hills northeast of Toronto.

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