Allison Markin Powell is a literary translator and editor in New York City. She has translated works by Osamu Dazai, Kaho Nakayama, and Motoyuki Shibata, and she was the guest editor for Words Without Borders, Japan issue.
Bestselling author Hiromi Kawakami's acclaim for her essays, stories, and novels include the Pascal Short Story Prize for New Writers and the Akutagawa Prize. Her novel Strange Weather in Tokyo was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Asian Literary Prize and the 2014 International Foreign Fiction Prize. Manazuru won the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission prize. She lives in Japan, where she taught biology and is a member of the Science Fiction Research Association.
Praise for Strange Weather in Tokyo (previously published as The Briefcase)
“I'm hooked on [this]
sentimental novel about the friendship, formed over late nights at a sake bar, between a Tokyo woman in her late thirties and her old high school teacher... I can only imagine what wizardry must have gone into Allison Markin Powell’s translation.” —Lorin Stein, The Paris Review Daily
“Simply and earnestly told, this is a profound exploration of human connection and the ways love can be found in surprising new places.” —BuzzFeed
“A sweet and poignant story of love and loneliness . . . A beautiful introductory book to Kawakami’s distinct style.” —Book Riot
“In quiet, nature–infused prose that stresses both characters' solitude, Kawakami subtly captures the cyclic patterns of loneliness while weighing the definition of love.” —Booklist
“In its love of the physical, sensual details of living, its emotional directness, and above all in the passion for food, this is somewhat reminiscent of Banana Yoshimoto's Kitchen
“I love this book and its characters so much. It’s the best.” —Bryan Washington, author of Lot
“Each chapter of the book is like a haiku, incorporating seasonal references to the moon, mushroom picking and cherry blossoms. The chapters are whimsical and often melancholy, but humor is never far away.... It is a celebration of friendship, the ordinary and individuality and a rumination on intimacy, love and loneliness. I cannot recommend Strange Weather in Tokyo
enough, which is also a testament to the translator who has skillfully retained the poetry and beauty of the original.” —The Japan Society
“Strange Weather in Tokyo
is a tender love story that drifts with the lightness of a leaf on a stream. Subtle and touching, this is a novel about loneliness, assuaged by an unlikely romance, and brought to life by one of Japan's most engaging contemporary writers.” —Readings
“A dream–like spell of a novel, full of humor, sadness, warmth and tremendous subtlety. I read this in one sitting and I think it will haunt me for a long time.” —Amy Sackville