As precise and nuanced as Japanese calligraphy, this memoir of Eluned Gramich’s stay on the remote Hokkaido island in the far north of Japan, has at its heart the mountain, Yotei-San, the region’s iconic equivalent to Mount Fuji. As much about learning a language (with connotations of ‘reading’ a wild landscape) as it is about nature, this dignified and nuanced work evokes what is cultured and cultivated, and yet also honours the wild; the untranslatable. With its themes of seasonal transformation, the peripheral, folklore, loneliness and learning to belong, this work takes a personal philosophical stance in relation to the centre and the periphery.
Eluned was joined by Dan Bradley in conversation to discuss her experience of living in the shadow of the omnipresent Yotei-San, and how this time in rural Hokkaido inspired her writings of the natural world. They also discussed the broader influence of Japanese literature, considering the translation and dissemination of Japanese literary works in the UK.
Woman Who Brings the Rain is now available on Kindle eBook from Amazon priced £2.99.
Read an extract here: Woman Who Brings the Rain Extract, pdf
You can watch a recording of the event here via YouTube:
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About the contributors
Eluned Gramich is an award-winning author and former Daiwa Scholar. She was awarded a BA (Hons) degree in English at the University of Oxford in 2010 and completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in 2012. Subsequently, Eluned lived and worked in Japan on a Daiwa Scholarship. Her translation of Monique Schwitter’s Goldfish Memory, a collection of short stories about connections and the mysteries of human relationships, was published in Spring 2015. In March 2015 Woman Who Brings the Rain won the inaugural New Welsh Writing Award which celebrates the finest non-fiction writing (in short form) on the theme of nature and the environment. Eluned has a long-standing interest in Japanese literature and hopes to promote UK-Japan literary exchanges. She is currently working on her first novel in Germany.
Dan Bradley is a writer and Japanese to English translator. Originally from Port Talbot, Dan read English at Cambridge before spending several years teaching in Japan with the JET Programme. His work, including translations of short stories by Hitomi Kanehara, has appeared in New Welsh Review, the Times Literary Supplement and Granta online. He now lives in London.