Facing the Bridge

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New Directions Books, 2007 - Poetry - 186 pages
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From Japan to Vietnam to Amsterdam to the Canary Islands, these three new tales by master storyteller Yoko Tawada float between cultures, identities, and the dreamwork of the imagination.
"When he watched Michael Jackson's videos, every cell in Tamao's body started to seethe: he even felt his appearance begin to change. His friends all said plastic surgery was in bad taste. But didn't everyone harbor a secret desire for a new face? His own was as plain as a burlap sack, so he put it out of his mind and studied hard to compensate for how dull he looked. He told himself that fretting over one's appearance was a job for women. But deep down, doesn't every man who lacks confidence in his looks yearn for that moment when the Beast turns into a handsome young man?"--from "Facing the Bridge"
Reading Yoko Tawada becomes an obsession, like watching the films of Catherine Deneuve. In "Facing the Bridge," Tawada's second story collection with New Directions, obsession becomes delight as the reader is absorbed into three tales where identities flicker and shift within borders as wide as the mind.

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User Review  - Ifland - LibraryThing

Facing the Bridge, translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani, includes three novellas: “The Shadow Man,” “In Front of Trang Tien Bridge” and “Saint George and the Translator.” In “Shadow Man ... Read full review

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User Review  - Andrew Vice - Goodreads

postmodernism pls go Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Yoko Tawada (March 23, 1960 - Present) is a Japanese writer currently living in Hamburg, Germany. She was born in Tokyo, received her undergraduate education at Waseda University in 1982 with a major in Russian literature, then studied at Hamburg University where she received a master's degree in contemporary German literature. She received her doctorate in German literature at the University of Zurich. In 1987 she published A Void Only Where You Are, a collection of poems in a German and Japanese bilingual edition. Tawada's Missing Heels received the Gunzo Prize for New Writers in 1991, and The Bridegroom Was a Dog received the Akutagawa Prize in 1993. In 1999 she became writer-in-residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for four months. Her Suspect on the Night Train won the Tanizaki Prize and Ito Sei Literary Prize in 2003. Tawada received the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize in 1996, and the Goethe Medal in 2005.

YOKO TAWADA was born in Tokyo in 1960 and educated at Waseda University, and now lives in Germany. She made her debut as a writer with "Missing Heels," which was awarded the Gunzo Prize for New Writers in 1991. In 1993 she received the prestigious Akutagawa Prize-Japan's equivalent of a Booker or a
Pulitzer-for "The Bridegroom Was a Dog." And in 1996 she won the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, a German award to foreign writers recognized for their contribution to German culture. She has also been given the Prize in Literature from the City of Hamburg (1990) and the Lessing Prize (1994).
Her fiction and poetry have been featured in journals and anthologies in France, Holland, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, but the present collection is the first to appear in English. This has since been followed by Where Europe Begins (New Directions, 2002).
The Translator: MARGARET MITSUTANI has a Master's degree in Comparative Literature from Tokyo University and now teaches at Kyoritsu Women's University in Tokyo. Her previous translations include Kenzaburo Oe's novel An Echo of Heaven and several short stories by Kyoko Hayashi.

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