Izumi Suzuki (1949–1986) was a countercultural icon and a pioneer of Japanese science fiction. She worked as a keypunch operator before finding fame as a model and actress, but it was her writing that secured her reputation. She took her own life at the age of thirty-six. On the occaision of the new translation of her short story collection, join translators and experts to discuss her life and work.
Izumi Suzuki had ideas about doing things differently, ideas that paid little attention to the laws of physics, or the laws of the land. In this new collection, her skewed imagination distorts and enhances some of the classic concepts of science fiction and fantasy.
A philandering husband receives a bestial punishment from a wife with her own secrets to keep; a music lover finds herself in a timeline both familiar and as wrong as can be; a misfit band of space pirates discover a mysterious baby among the stars; Emma, the Bovary-like character from one of Suzuki's stories in Terminal Boredom, lands herself in a bizarre romantic pickle.
Wryly anarchic and deeply imaginative, Suzuki was a writer like no other. These eleven stories offer readers the opportunity to delve deeper in this singular writer's work.
Sam Bett is a fiction writer and Japanese translator. A graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, he has worked on translations shortlisted for the International Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Recent projects include The Flowers of Buffoonery by Osamu Dazai, with New Directions, and The Rope Artist by Fuminori Nakamura, forthcoming in May from Soho Press. His translations of Izumi Suzuki for Verso Books include the short story "Night Picnic" published in Terminal Boredom and the stories "My Guy" and "Trial Witch," both collected in Hit Parade of Tears.
Makenna Goodman is the author of The Shame (Milkweed, 2020), which was named a Harvard Review Favorite Book of 2020, a White Review Recommended Read, a Refinery29 Best New Book, a Literary Hub Recommended Read, a Bustle Most Anticipated Book, and a Boston.com Book Club Pick. She has written literary criticism, essays, interviews, and short fiction for international publications including the New York Review of Books, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, Literary Hub, Catapult, Harvard Review, the White Review, BOMB, ASTRA Magazine, and others.
Daniel Joseph is a Japanese translator. In addition to his day job as an editor at Kodansha USA, he has translated fiction by Kou Machida and Izumi Suzuki, as well as a memoir by outsider folk singer Kazuki Tomokawa. He holds an MA from Harvard University in medieval Japanese literature.
Rhian Sasseen lives in New York. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Baffler, Granta, The Nation, The Yale Review, and more. She is working on a novel.
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