When it comes to Japanese literature, most westerners know of the works by Haruki Murakami and that’s about it. If you are interested in exploring the world of modern Japanese literary works, you should check out Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan.
This literary magazine is the brainchild of Motoyuki Shibata, one of the most respected literary translators in Japan. His specialty is modern American literature. He had translated works of Paul Auster, Stuart Dybek, Steve Erickson, Edward Gorey, Steven Millhauser, and Richard Powers. He got together with his literature partners in crime; Canadian literary translator, Ted Goossen and Japanese pop culture scholar, Roland Kelts, in bringing Monkey Business beyond just bookstore shelves. How? By doing a literary tour in the U.S.
Monkey Business is published annually, consisting of short stories, poetry, prose and essays. What makes Monkey Business special is the fact it features works by Japanese and western authors. This is a prime example of an east-west literature mash up in the best sense. Now in its fifth year, Monkey Business, featured some of the most prolific writings of post 3/11 Fukushima Disaster. Their newest volume features a brand new essay from Haruki Murakami.
What can one expect from this tour? Live readings from excerpts by authors in both English and Japanese. By hearing the words from the printed page by the authors, one can feel the author’s lines elevated into a new landscape in the reader’s mind. The combination of Western and Japanese works will bring the reader into a better understanding and appreciation.
Be sure to experience when Monkey Business when arrive at a town near you!
Monkey Business 2015 Tour Dates:
Susan Harris (4/28)
April 27 (Mon.) – Chicago, IL: Columbia College-Chicago, 1:00 – 5:00 pm
April 28 (Tue.) – Chicago, IL: University of Chicago, 4:30 – 8:00 pm
April 29 (Wed.) – Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo), 4:30pm~
April 30 (Thur.) – Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin (Madison), 5:00 – 7:00pm
Ben Katchor (4/3 – 4/6)
Kelly Link (4/4 & 4/6)
Jay Rubin (4/7)
May 3 (Sun.) – Brooklyn, NY: BookCourt, 4:00pm~
May 4 (Mon.) – New York, NY: Asia Society, 6:30pm~
May 6 (Wed.) – New York, NY: McNally Jackson, 8:00pm~
May 7 (Thur.) – New York, NY: Japan Society, 6:30pm~
4/27: Monkey Business at Columbia College-Chicago
Columbia College Chicago
600 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60605
4/28: Monkey Business at University of Chicago
The University of Chicago
5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60637
Franke Institute S-118
Regenstein Library (1100 E 57th St.)
4/29: Monkey Business at Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo)
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008
4/30: Monkey Business at The University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison
500 Lincoln Dr, Madison
5/3: Monkey Business Reading and Release Party at BookCourt
163 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
5/4: Monkey Business: Japan/America Writers’ Dialogue in Words and Pictures at Asia Society
725 Park Avenue at 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
TICKETS: $10 members; $12 students/seniors; $15 nonmembers.
5/6: Monkey Business Issue 5 Reading at McNally Jackson
McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince St
New York, New York 10012
5/7: The Magical Art of Translation: From Haruki Murakami to Japan’s Latest Storytellers: Monkey Business at Japan Society
333 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017
TICKETS: $12/$8 Japan Society members, students & seniors