Japanese novelist Minae Mizumura’s The Fall of Language in the Age of English lays bare the struggle to retain the brilliance of one’s own language in this period of English-language dominance. Publishers Weekly called the book: “An eye-opening call to consciousness about the role of language.”
The Fall of Language in the Age of English caused a stir when it was originally published in Japan in 2008, with one prominent blogger declaring it “a ‘must-read for all Japanese.'” Mizumura was already known as a writer who played with language and literature (taking on Natsume Sōseki’s unfinished novel Light and Dark and retelling Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights in A True Novel). You can find our more about Minae Mizumura and her work in Mari Yoshihara and Juliet Winters Carpenter’s introduction.
In the excerpt below “Under the Blue Sky of Iowa: Those Who Write in Their Own Language,” Mizumura reflects upon her time at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.
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