Canada-Japan Literary Awards
Photographer(s): Brian Grogan (top) and Maya Celuch (bottom)
Matsuki Masutani for his book I will be more myself in the next world
“By turns wistful and wise, these poems are marvels of distillation and feeling, full of subtle tonal gradations and striking clarity as they explore love, illness, and ageing in the bewildering in-between space of transnational experience. The poet alternates between English and Japanese to create a sense of linguistic liminality, in which words shift between worlds in compelling ways.” — Peer assessment committee
Matsuki Masutani is a poet and translator. He moved from Tokyo to Vancouver in 1976 and later to Denman Island, where he eventually began writing poems in English and Japanese. I will be more myself in the next world is his debut book. It won the Canada-Japan Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. He has translated Roy Kiyooka’s Mothertalk, Hiromi Goto’s A Chorus of Mushrooms, and Kishizo Kimura’s memoir, Witness to Loss (from Japanese into English). Masutani has also edited the modern Japanese translation of The Shobogenzo, a medieval Buddhist text.
Aki Shimazaki for her book Suzuran
“Aki Shimazaki offers us a moving and poetic portrait of the complex relationship between two sisters in a Japan that is markedly both urban and rural. Suzuran invites the reader to take an introspective journey through the human soul. This brilliantly constructed novel is distinguished by its sensitivity and its elegant language.” — Peer assessment committee
Aki Shimazaki is a novelist and translator. She has written three pentalogies, Le Poids des secrets, Au cœur du Yamato and L’ombre du chardon. She is currently working on the fifth book of her fourth pentalogy, Une clochette sans battant, which began with Suzuran. Her 19 novels are published by Actes Sud. A story about her childhood, “Parmi les lucioles et les azalées,” was published in GEO. She has given many interviews that have been written about in articles such as “La constance de la romancière” (published in LiRE) and “The Essence of Writing,” (published in Wall Street International). Her work has been translated into 10 languages. She lives in Montréal, Quebec.
What is this prize?
The Canada-Japan Literary Awards recognize the literary merit of books on Japan, on Japanese themes or on themes that promote mutual understanding between Japan and Canada, written by Canadian authors, or translated by Canadian translators from Japanese into English or French.
Who created this prize?
Funding for the Canada-Japan Literary Awards comes from a gift from the Government of Japan.
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