The Times Literary Supplement describes her as a writer who applies ‘an other worldly curiosity to a basic but universal question: what is it to live somewhere?’ In this event, Jayne Joso will talk us through the essential elements of the Japanese wood and paper house, and how one of these enigmatic spaces came to settle itself as a character in its own right in her critically acclaimed novel, My Falling Down House. Joso will also focus on the increasing number of abandoned houses in Japan, presenting her photography of these spaces taken in remote parts of Japan such as Echizenhama and Teradomari.
Sho Konishi – Director, Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford, describes Joso’s novel as ‘A remarkable achievement,’ a work set in Japan which ‘simultaneously speaks to contemporary globalizing society at large.’
“I had come here because I was drawn to the place, there was a feel for nature here, a sense of a slow and simple way of living. A forgotten way of living.”
My Falling Down House is also the recipient of the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation Award. The novel’s cover features the painting ‘Zen Garden’ by the figurative painter and 2003 Daiwa Scholar, Carl Randall.
A video of the talk can be found here:
About the contributors
Jayne Joso is a writer and artist who has lived and worked in Japan, China, Kenya and the UK. She is the author of three novels, the most recent of these is set in Japan and draws on her years living in the snowy mountains of Niigata, and later in Tokyo. Her journalism has been published in various Japanese architectural magazines and in the UK’s Architecture Today magazine, and she has also ghost written on Japanese architects for the German publisher, Prestel Art. Her work is largely concerned with matters of human empathy, issues surrounding home and homelessness, and cultural identity. In 2012 she was awarded the Coracle Ireland, International Writer’s Residency. And this year she has been granted ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND support for her next work.