This past weekend I flew up to Tokyo for two literary events. The first was a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators showcase, at which eight of us presented our recent and forthcoming works for children. Interestingly, one illustrator, Youchan, had just completed a Japanese book about a deaf child at school. Another, Naomi Kojima, spoke about translating the letters of a legendary children’s book editor, and my friend Holly and her illustrator did a presentation on the making of The Wakame Gatherers. (For my interview with Holly, click here.) I was lucky to meet Yuka Hamano, the illustrator for my own forthcoming picture book, Playing for Papa, which will be published by Topka Books in Spain.
The following evening I was on a panel along with Alfred Birnbaum (Haruki Murakami’s first English translator) and Barry Lancet, Executive Editor of Kodansha International, at the Society of Writers, Editors and Translators New Year Party. I read a few pages of Losing Kei and talked about the book.
I had a great time. Unfortunately, while I was gone, my hubsand and mother-in-law had a big blow out which had nothing to do with me. My mother-in-law said, however, that it happened because I wasn’t here to act as a buffer. Also, she had some self-esteem issues because Jio didn’t eat all of the bento she prepared for him. And my son said he didn’t feel well and stayed home from school yesterday, although he had no fever, did not vomit, and had a healthy appetite.
In Japanese the word for wife means “woman of the interior.” See, I’m supposed to stay in the house all the time. Look what happens when I go out!
This weekend I’m going to Kagoshima.