Where Europe Begins by Yoko Tawada

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A gorgeous collection of fantastic and dreamlike tales by one of the world's most innovative contemporary writers. Where Europe Begins presents a collection of startling new stories by Japanese writer Yoko Tawada. Moving through landscapes of fairy tales, family history, strange words and letters, dreams, and every-day reality, Tawada's work blurs divisions between fact and fiction, prose and poetry. Often set in physical spaces as disparate as Japan, Siberia, Russia, and Germany, these tales describe a fragmented world where even a city or the human body can become a sort of text. Suddenly, the reader becomes as much a foreigner as the author and the figures that fill this book: the ghost of a burned woman, a woman traveling on the Trans-Siberian railroad, a mechanical doll, a tongue, a monk who leaps into his own reflection. Tawada playfully makes the experience of estrangement—of a being in-between—both sensual and bewildering, and as a result practically invents a new way of seeing things while telling a fine story.

Yoko Tawada writes in both Japanese and German. She has lived in Hamburg for over ten years, received the prestigious Akutagawa Prize in Japan, and in Germany the Chamisso Prize (the highest honor for a foreign-born writer of German). She was writer in residence at MIT and has published several books in Japanese and German, including two plays performed on German and Austrian stages.


About Yoko Tawada

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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.
Published October 1, 2002 by New Directions Publishing Corporation. 192 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

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Tawada, who writes both in her native language and in German (and has won literary prizes in both Japan and Germany), concentrates on the delusive nature of solitariness as felt by a woman interpreter in Germany possessed by the ghost of a suicide (in “The Bath”), and another woman (in “A Guest”...

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