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Mieko Kawakami and Fernanda Melchor


Event Status

‘The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.’

English-language publishers are increasingly embracing works in translation. What new worlds does this open up for readers? What does feminism gain from more translated women’s voices in fiction? 

For this conversation, we’ll speak with two international authors with major works recently published in English. Mieko Kawakami is the author of several books in Japanese. Her first full-length work to be translated into English is Breasts and Eggs, a bold novel about fertility, cosmetic surgery and bodily autonomy, translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd. Fernanda Melchor is a Mexican journalist and novelist, whose powerful English-language debut about femicide in Mexico, Hurricane Season, was shortlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize, translated by Sophie Hughes. 

Hosted by Roanna Gonsalves , these exceptional authors will discuss radical representations of womanhood in fiction, and the limitations and possibilities of translation today. Interpretation and subtitles provided by Hitomi Yoshio.

Our online bookseller for this event will be Neighbourhood Books.

The Broadly Speaking series is proudly supported by Krystyna Campbell-Pretty AM and family.


Mieko Kawakami

Born in Osaka prefecture in 1976, Mieko Kawakami began her career as a singer and songwriter before making her literary debut in 2006. Her first novella My Ego, My Teeth, and the World, published in 2007, was nominated for the Akutagawa Prize and awarded the Tsubouchi Shoyo Prize for Young Emerging ... Read more

Fernanda Melchor

Fernanda Melchor was born in 1982 in Veracruz, Mexico. She is widely recognised as one of the most exciting new voices of Mexican literature. In 2018, she won the PEN Mexico Award for Literary and Journalistic Excellence and in 2019 the German Anna-Seghers-Preis and the International Literature Awar... Read more

Roanna Gonsalves

Roanna Gonsalves is the award-winning author of The Permanent Resident, published in India and South Asia as Sunita De Souza Goes To Sydney. Her writing has been compared to the work of Alice Munro and Jhumpa Lahiri. Her four-part radio series On the tip of a billion tongues, commissioned and broadc... Read more

Hitomi Yoshio

Hitomi Yoshio is Associate Professor of Global Japanese Literary and Cultural Studies at Waseda University. Her research includes women writers, feminist literary communities in late 19th and early 20th century Japan, and the work of Mieko Kawakami. Yoshio’s translations of Kawakami’s short stor... Read more

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