Today Lynne Kutsukake pops by on her blog tour for her debut book, The Translation of Love, to answer the Imaginary Bookshop questions. I love the front cover for Translation of Love, and I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing this book.
Right, over to Lynne...
What would be the name of your imaginary bookshop?
I would name it The Translator’s Den.
Where would your imaginary bookshop be located?
Ideally it would be next to a Japanese restaurant on one side and an Italian restaurant on the other. These are my two favourite cuisines, and I’d want to dash out for a quick meal in between shifts working in my bookshop.
Would your bookshop have any special features? E.g. a performing stage, a cocktail bar, etc.
At the back I would set it up like an old-fashioned nightclub, with a small stage and little tables at which people could sit and enjoy their drinks while listening to the readings. It’s nice to have a table on which to set down your drink and your copy of the book.
What would make your bookshop different from all of the other ones?
My bookshop would specialize in translations of international literary fiction, works that have been translated into English. It would be the “must visit” bookshop for anyone seeking works of literature from anywhere in the world. I’d have translations of all the great classics, of course—Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, Zola, and so forth—and well-known writers like Haruki Murakami. But what would make my shop really special is that I’d stock works from as many countries as possible. Want to read a great novel from Mongolia, Tibet or Sri Lanka? My shop would have something for you!
What sections would you have in your bookshop? And what sections would you ditch?
As my shop is concentrating on literature, I wouldn’t have non-fiction (except memoirs or biographies of writers).
Every bookshop needs a display table. Which books would you have on your display table? Why?
My first display would feature the 2016 Man Booker International prize winner: The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith. And I would display the original edition in Korean next to the translation. I would like people to be able to pick up the Korean book, open it, and have a visceral understanding of how inaccessible this extraordinary work of literature would be if it were not for the hard work and talent of the translator.
Every month I would feature a different country’s literature.
If you could run only one author event who would you have? You can pick a living or dead writer. What sort of event would they run?
I would invite Elena Ferrante and her English language translator Ann Goldstein. Elena would give a reading in Italian, Ann would give a reading from the English translation, and then a delivery of piping hot authentic Neapolitan pizza would arrive and we would all dig in!
A customer comes up to your till with a copy of your novel and asks you to give them a reason on why they should buy it. What would you say?
My novel, The Translation of Love, is set in Japan during the American occupation. It tells the story of friendship between two young girls whose lives have been affected in very different ways by war and its aftermath. Oh, yes, linguistic and cultural translation play a big role in my novel.
What sort of cake would you offer when launching your book in your bookshop?
Japanese cheese cake. It’s very light, not too sweet, and absolutely delicious!
The Translation of Love is available from your favourite bookshop.