I have a piece of writing in the latest issue of The Threepenny Review, a Berkeley-based literary magazine. It’s a short, untitled nonfiction piece in the “Table Talk” section of the magazine, which in the past has featured Roberto Bolaño and Orhan Pamuk among others – pretty cool. It feels similar to “Talk of the Town” in the New Yorker.
I don’t think the writing style of the piece is all that different from some of the writing I do here, to be honest; there’s definitely less Japanese, but it’s still about Japan. Here’s a preview of the first paragraph as proof:
One Saturday in February 2006, I decided to go on a drive in search of cheap mikan. I’d stayed in to recover from a cold the night before and spent the morning cleaning my apartment and hanging my laundry from the curtain brackets. Outside the weather was remarkable. After a gray, blustery January during which we had several meters of snow, the sky was bright blue and clear, and the sun was strong enough to dry the roads. It was still too cold to hang clothes outside, and icy walls of snow padded the sides of the highways, but after spending over a week exclusively in my town—the small town of Nishiaizu, Fukushima Prefecture, where I was teaching English at elementary and junior high school—I was getting a little stir crazy, and cheap citrus fruit seemed to be a good excuse to get out of the house.
Murakami scholars might recognize the 3P editor Wendy Lesser as the author of the 2002 article “The Mysteries of Translation,” which compared Birnbaum and Rubin’s translation of “The Wind-up Bird and Tuesday’s Women” (a longer sneak preview of which is available here). 3P also reviewed 1Q84 this summer, but I felt that the author tried a little too hard to find the foreignness of Murakami, defining it as a “blandness” that needs to be appreciated. This 2001 look at his oeuvre in general is more on target.