The World in Japanese Lecture, Q&A Session

Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan

Mr. Hideo Levy, the first westerner to become a critically acclaimed novelist in Japanese, will relate the story of his own "life in a new language." In doing so he will refer to the inspiration he received both from ancient Japanese literature and from the minority and bilingual novelists at the forefront of contemporary writing in Japan. This event is in commemoration of the publication of A Room Where the Star-Spangled Banner Cannot Be Heard, the first translation of his work into English.

Born in California in 1950, Mr. Levy spent his childhood in both Taiwan and Hong Kong, finally moving to Japan when he was 16 years old. From then on, he divided his time between Japan and the United States, receiving a doctorate from Princeton University and teaching Japanese literature at Princeton and Stanford Universities. He currently resides in Tokyo, and has served as a professor at Hosei University since 1994.

Mr. Levy received the National Book Award in 1982 for his English translation of the Man’yoshu, the earliest existing anthology of Tanka poems often regarded as the herald of Japanese literature and culture. He made his literary debut in Japanese in 1992 with Seijoki no kikoenai heya (The Room Where the Star-Spangled Banner Cannot be Heard), which won the Noma Literary New Face Prize. Levy also received the Osaragi Jiro Prize in 2005 for his novel, Chiji ni kudakete.

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