Tuesday 25 January 2022

Short Story Review: The Walker by Izumi Suzuki, transl. by Daniel Joseph

The Walker

The Walker by Izumi Suzuki
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Test available online at https://granta.com/the-walker/

Izumi Suzuki was Japanese writer living between 1949 and 1986. The most informative account of her I found is from 2021 posting on Literary Hub (https://lithub.com/a-writer-from-the-...) from around the time her story collection Terminal Boredom: Stories appeared in English with stories translated by Polly Barton ( whose name I recognised from several other translation of modern Japanese writers), Sam Bett, David Boyd (who has written about translating her work https://hopscotchtranslation.com/2021... ), Aiko Masubuchi, Helen O’Horan and Daniel Joseph who is the translator of this story. That collection is all the has been translated thus far.

According to Granta, Daniel Joseph holds a Master's from Harvard in medieval Japanese Literature and who according to his Amazon's page he specializes in both modern and classical literature, science fiction, pop culture, music, and the avant-garde, and if this story is anything to go by that list may qualify for the addition of the term 'weird' ,

The Walker is a short 4 page story, set in some unknown time and place where a narrator seems to have been walking for ages and seems icompelled to continue to walk, except that she encounters a woman with food cart. ******SPOILER ALERT*** hungry and with no money she exchanges an item of jewellery for food. This seems a fantasy encounter, told quite realistically, but the final twist left so gobsmacked, my only though was 'How strangely weird!'

I've put Terminal Boredom: Stories on my To Be Read List 


Postscript: Daniel Joseph has also written about her on Art Review  in 2021 (https://artreview.com/how-izumi-suzuki-broke-science-fiction-boys-club )


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