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Fifty Sounds: Polly Barton in Conversation with Kate Briggs

Virtual Event

April 8, 2021 @ 19:30 21:00 BST


Join us when we welcome translator Polly Barton to celebrate the publication of her new book, FIFTY SOUNDS, with a conversation with Kate Briggs, author of THIS LITTLE ART. The event will be streaming via Instagram Live.

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 literary translator from the Japanese. Her translations include Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda, There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura, and Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki. She won the 2019 Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize for Fifty Sounds. She lives in Bristol.

Kate Briggs is a writer and translator based in Rotterdam where she teaches at the Piet Zwart Institute. She is the author of THIS LITTLE ART (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017) which was a finalist for a Believer Book Award in 2018. She is in the process of completing a new book on address, rhythm, co-living and the novel titled The Long Form.