Have you ever felt like you wanted to read more Japanese literature (other than Murakami), but have never found the time, or motivation to look for a new author or title? As an avid reader of Japanese novels, I’m here to make all of this easy for you. Since 2022, I have been the host and moderator of READING BETWEEN THE LINES, an online book club with the Japan-America Society of Tennessee. We meet once a season on Zoom, and everyone is welcome, even if you have not read or finished the book. I share my screen and have participants read selected excerpts out loud. I add cultural context, describe comparisons with the original Japanese text, and open up the virtual room for questions and discussions. In the past, we have discussed How Do We Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino (which is being adapted for Miyazaki’s upcoming animated feature), Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Tawada, and Dead-End Memories: Stories by Banana Yoshimoto.
On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, we will discuss Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda, a book of interlinked stories that are each inspired by Japanese yokai stories, folklore, rakugo, and kabuki — but with a modern, feminist twist. The writing is delightful, approachable, and insightful into what it feels like to be a Japanese woman in the 21st century.
All are welcome! If you live in Nashville, grab a copy at Parnassus with a special book-club discount.