This moment of daybreak, and this singing back and forth

Dear Sarashina, I must confess that I have read your diary – and I did it twice. In my defense, I guess I could say that it is not exactly a diary, as we nowadays conceive of it; that it is highly imaginative rather than objective; and that it was meant to be a public…

Lady Sarashina

Sugawara no Takasue no Musume (菅原孝標女, also known as Takasue’s Daughter, c.1008 – after 1059) was a Japanese author known for her classic Heian period travel diary, the Sarashina Nikki. “Sugawara no Takasue no Musume” means daughter of Sugawara no Takasue. Her real name is unknown, so British scholar Ivan Morris, who translated her diary to English, referred to her as Lady Sarashina. Books…

It has a fascination of its own, that bend

Dear Lucy, At first, I felt skeptical about your novel Anne of Green Gables (1908). Anne seemed too chatty, too imaginative, too eager to please – too good to be true. Or perhaps I simply should have met her earlier, as a child of eleven, and on her own terms. But, gradually, so as it happened…

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery (November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942) was a Canadian writer. She attended Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown, and obtained a teacher’s license.  Lucy worked as a teacher in various Prince Edward Island schools. In 1897, she had her first short stories published in magazines and newspapers. In 1908, she published her first book, Anne of Green Gables, which was an…

Margaret Laurence

Jean Margaret Laurence (née Wemyss, 18 July 1926 – 5 January 1987) was a Canadian writer. She attended Winnipeg’s United College,  where she took courses in English, History, Ethics, and Psychology, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature in 1947. Laurence worked as a journalist at the independent newspaper the Winnipeg Citizen. After marriage, she and her husband moved…

Women in Translation Month 2017

Hello, lovely readers! Meytal over at the Biblibio blog is hosting the Women in Translation Month (#WITMonth) in August. The event aims to encourage readers, reviewers, publishers, and translators to explore more books written by female writers in translation. Here you can find a FAQ on the event. And here Meytal compiled a list of books. My list for WITMonth will overlap with some…

The secrets inside her mind are like flowers in a garden at nighttime

Dear Fumiko, Your novel Masks, translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter (女面, Onnamen, 1958) reminded me of an intricate structure one is made to peel off, layer by layer, only to find out later that the layers only made more visible the core that they were to be hiding – they were, after all, the very things…

Fumiko Enchi

Fumiko Enchi (円地 文子 Enchi Fumiko, pen-name of Fumiko Ueda, 2 October 1905 – 12 November 1986) was a Japanese writer. She was taught English, French and Chinese literature through private tutors at home. From 1918 to 1922, she attended the girl’s middle school of Japan Women’s University, but later abandoned her studies due to poor health. She died of heart attack in 1986. Books Novels Kaze…

Mary Renault

Mary Renault (born Eileen Mary Challans, 4 September 1905 – 13 December 1983) was an English writer. Renault received an undergraduate degree in English from St Hugh’s College, Oxford, in 1928. She then trained as a nurse at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, where she met her lifelong partner, the nurse Julie Mullard. Renault worked as a nurse until…