Monday June 05, 2017

The joys and challenges of translating Haruki Murakami's work

Haruki Marukami translator Ted Goosen (right) with q host Tom Power

Haruki Marukami translator Ted Goosen (right) with q host Tom Power (Melody Lau)

Listen 16:34

Haruki Murakami is one of the world's best-known writers, but his words are written in Japanese. To reach English-speaking readers in Canada, Murakami's words have to be translated into English. That's why where Ted Goossen comes in.

Goossen is an expert in Japanese literature, teaches at York University in Toronto and has helped translate several of Murakami's works, including his recently published story collection, Men Without Women

In Japan, Murakami fans line up at bookstores when his novels are released. When his novel 1Q84 came out almost a decade ago, a million copies sold in the first month. Murakami's novels and short story collections also sell by the millions outside of Japan and have been translated in over 40 languages.

Goossen talks to Tom Power about Murakami's penchant for jazz, the Beach Boys and the Beatles, what Murakami is like in person, and the challenges of being a translator for one of the world's most renowned writers.

— Produced by Elaine Chau