UPDATE All 15 spots have been filled. If you are interested in the future Japanese book club events, please email your name and contact information to the Asian Library at asian.library@ubc.ca.

Date, Time & Place
Meet & Greet: Tuesday, January 30, 6:30-8:00 pm
Discussion: Tuesday, February 27, 6:30-8:30 pm
Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall (map)

Fee
$10 per person, including a copy of the book and light refreshments at both sessions.

This book club will be of special interest to current students, alumni and community members who have studied Japanese at an advanced level. We will be reading the novel: コンビニ人間 Convenience Store People by Murata Sayaka.

About the Book: コンビニ人間 (Convenience Store People)

Murata Sayaka’s Convenience Store People gives an in-depth look at the life of a 36 year-old convenience store worker, Furukura Keiko. Keiko is single with no dating history, whose struggles to find her place in the world eventually landed her in a convenience store. Working there for all of her adult life as a part-timer, she has found peace with herself as a normal “component” of society as she eats, drinks, and breathes the perfectly constructed life – until a new male staff aggressively asks her “aren’t you ashamed of yourself?” Placing her “manual”-led existence at jeopardy, the book questions the preconceptions of normality, the conditions of modern life, and what it means to be a “component” of society.

36歳独身、交際歴なしのコンビニ店員、古倉恵子。自分の居場所を探し続け、高校卒業後、とあるコンビニにパート従業員として就職して以来、世界の『正常な「部品」』として存在し続けている。食事も飲み物も、生活すべてがコンビニで成り立っている中、ある新人店員の言葉――『恥ずかしくないんですか』――によって、古倉のマニュアル化された世界に危機が訪れる――。正常とは何か、現代の生活のあり方とは何か、そして社会の「部品」になるとはどういうことなのかを問う作品である。

About the Author: 村田沙耶香 (Murata Sayaka)

Born in 1979, Murata Sayaka is the recipient of the 155th Akutagawa Prize (July 2016) for her book Konbini Ningen [Convenience Store People]. She won the Gunzo Prize for New Writers in 2003 and made her debut with the novel Junyū [Breastfeeding]. Her other works include Satujin Shussan [Murder and Birth], Shometsu Sekai [The Disappearing World], and Gin’iro no uta [The Silver-coloured Song], for which she received the 2011 Noma Literary Prize.

1979年生まれ。2016年、『コンビニ人間』で155回芥川賞受賞。2003年、群像新人文学賞受賞作『授乳』でデビュー。ほかの著書に『殺人出産』、『消滅世界』、野間文芸賞受賞作『ギンイロノウタ』などがある。

About the Facilitator: Cyrus Qiu

Cyrus is currently pursuing his PhD at UBC’s Department of Asian Studies, with a focus on Japanese modern literature and popular culture. Through analyzing the intriguing ideas invested in cultural products such as anime, manga, novels and films, his research explores how various social issues in current Japanese society are represented, problematized and negotiated.

Questions? Please contact Japanese Language Librarian Naoko Kato at naoko.kato@ubc.ca.

UPDATE  Thank you for your participation!  If you are interested in future Korean book club events, please email your name and contact information to the Asian Library at asian.library@ubc.ca.

 

Date, Time & Place
Meet & Greet: Tuesday, January 16, 6:30-8:00 pm
Discussion: Tuesday, February 13, 6:30-8:30 pm
Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall (map)

Fee
$10 per person, including a copy of the book and light refreshments at both sessions.

This book club will be of special interest to current students, alumni and community members who have studied Korean at an advanced level (including reading literature in Korean). The premise behind the book club is for participants to read popular works by Korean authors in Korean, and come together to discuss them in Korean. In this inaugural session, we will be reading the short story 중국인 거리 Chinatown by Oh Jung-hee.

About the Book: 중국인 거리 (Chinatown)

[Chinatown] deals with the duality of the life and death, through which the protagonist gains access not only to the realm of darkness and confusion but also to a deeper understanding of life. [Chinatown], a lyrical description of the landscape of postwar Korean society, tells us about a girl becoming aware of the light and darkness of a world suffering from the wounds inflicted by war.

[중국인 거리]에는 죽음의 사건과 함께 삶과 생명의 양면성이 공존하고 있다. 소녀는 이 둘을 통해 혼란과 어두움의 세계뿐만 아니라 삶의 온전한 의미에 보다 접근하게 된다고 할 수 있다. [중국인 거리]는 이처럼 전쟁이 휩쓸고 간 자리에 남은 상처와 함께 그 속에서 세상의 빛과 어두움을 알아 나가는 소녀의 모습을 통해 전후의 한 풍경을 성장서사로 담고 있는 작품이다.    (해설 중에서 From the Afterword)

About the Author: 오정희 (Oh Jung-hee)

Born in Seoul in 1947, Oh Jung-hee graduated from the Creative Writing Program at Sorabol University of Art in 1970. She is the recipient of the Yi Sang Literary Award (1979), the Dongin Literary Award (1982), the Oh Yeong-su Literary Award (1966), the East-West Literary Award (1966) and the Liberaturpreis (2003) from Germany. Her works include [River of Fire], [Garden in My Childhood], [Bronze Mirror], [Soul of Wind], [Firework], and [Bird].

1947년 서울에서 출생하여 1970년 서라벌예대 문예창작과를 졸업했다. 이상문학상 (1979), 동인문학상 (1982), 오영수문학상 (1966), 동서문학상(1966), 독일 리베리투르 문학상(2003) 등을 수상했다. 대표작으로 [불의 강], [유년의 뜰], [동경], [바람의 넋], [불꽃놀이], [새] 등이 있다.

About the Facilitators: Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton

Professor Bruce Fulton and his wife Ju-Chan Fulton are award-winning translators of numerous volumes of modern Korean literature.

“Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton bring Korean literature to the English-speaking world” comment by Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times book editor.

Questions? Please contact Korean Language Librarian Lucia Park at lucia.park@ubc.ca.

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