Friday 17 January 2014

Golden Kin-Yōbi: 3 - Columbia University Press

We're back with another Golden Kin-Yōbi, a day of opportunity for lovers of J-Lit :)  Our generous donors today are Columbia University Press, who release a wide range of fascinating Japanese books, both fiction and non-fiction.

Which of their books are being offered as prizes?  Well, it's one of their most recent publications, and it's a chance to try one of Japan's most famous writers - in a book which few English speakers will have read...

Natsume Soseki was the first of my J-Lit Giants, and in his home country he is arguably seen as the most famous Japanese writer of the modern era.  He is known for such works as Kokoro, Botchan, I am a Cat and Kusamakura, but one of his best books has just reappeared in English with a new translation by John NathanLight and Dark is Natsume's final work, his longest novel - one I've just finished reading and enjoyed immensely :)

Set on the eve of World War One, it is described as "a minutely observed study of haute-bourgeois manners" and "a psychological portrait of a new marriage that achieves a depth and exactitude of character revelation that had no precedent in Japan at the time of its publication and has not been equaled since".  In the introduction, translator John Nathan compares the style to Henry James, and while Soseki uses much shorter sentences than the Anglo-American writer, the way he analyses his characters' thoughts is very similar.

Sounds like something you'd like to read?  Well, CUP are offering three copies, with worldwide postage for the winners, so you might just get the chance sooner than you thought :)

If you'd like to win a copy of Light and Dark, simply comment below, leaving your name and an e-mail addressFor courier purposes, the winners will also have to provide me with a telephone number once I've confirmed the names (not yet!).  There's no need to follow me, either here, on Facebook or on Twitter (unless you want to, of course!) - anyone can enter, and everyone has an equal chance of winning :)

Entries will close at 8 p.m. (AEST) on Thursday, January the 23rd (that's 9 a.m. on Thursday, London time), and the winners will be announced in the next Golden Kin-Yōbi post (the winners, naturally, will be chosen using some kind of random on-line draw thingy).  So, what are you waiting for?  Get commenting, and good luck!

And, of course, we need to announce the winners of last week's prizes!

A copy of Yasushi Inoue's Bullfight goes to Lizzy Siddal
A copy of Ryu Murakami's Coin Locker Babies goes to Reuven Pinnata
A copy of Murakami's Popular Hits of the Showa Era goes to Jacqui
A copy of Murakami's Sixty-Nine goes to Ally (Snow Feathers)

I will be in contact with the winners shortly - thanks again to Pushkin Press for the great prizes :)