In StockAdd to basket
Want free delivery?
Join Good Book Club and enjoy exclusive member perks – like unlimited free delivery across our site. Plus:
- A brilliant newly-released book from an indie publisher delivered every month
- Free access to author events online and in-person
- Monthly extras you actually want – like signed copies and notes from authors
Why Japan? In Fifty Sounds, winner of the 2019 Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize, Polly Barton attempts to exhaust her obsession with the country she moved to at the age of 21, before eventually becoming a literary...
Why Japan? In Fifty Sounds, winner of the 2019 Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize, Polly Barton attempts to exhaust her obsession with the country she moved to at the age of 21, before eventually becoming a literary translator. From min-min, the sound of air screaming, to jin-jin, the sound of being touched for the very first time, from hi’sori, the sound of harbouring masochist tendencies, to mote-mote, the sound of becoming a small-town movie star, Fifty Sounds is a personal dictionary of the Japanese language, recounting her life as an outsider in Japan. Irreverent, humane, witty and wise, Fifty Sounds is an exceptional debut about the quietly revolutionary act of learning, speaking, and living in another language.
Polly Barton is a writer and translator of Japanese literature and non-fiction, based in Bristol. In 2019, she was awarded the Fitzcarraldo Essay Prize for her non-fiction debut Fifty Sounds, a personal dictionary of the Japanese language which traces her encounters with it, as learner, translator and speaker, through fifty onomatopoeic Japanese words. Her work in translation has tended to focus on contemporary women's fiction, and her recent translations include Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki, There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura, So We Look to the Sky by Misumi Kubo, and Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda.
Fitzcarraldo Editions is an independent publisher specialising in contemporary fiction and long-form essays. Founded in 2014, it focuses on ambitious, imaginative and innovative writing, both in translation and in the English language.