In bringing this book to Anglophone readers, she [author Minae Mizumura] and her distinguished translator, Juliet Winters Carpenter, faced an unusual challenge. For editions in any other language, they could have left the English words as they were to preserve their foreignness. For the English translation, though, they came up with another solution: placing that text in bold. This has the funny effect of calling attention to the particularly local echoes of words that don’t usually sound strange to American ears. Catnip, mug, New Jersey, I don’t care, zillions, thrift shop and cafeteria stand alongside Cindy, Robin and Linda. The shift makes the whole country seem exotic, as do the novel’s photographs of things we wouldn’t ever notice: “Colonial house,” for example, or “Sidewalk.”
For full review by Benjamin Moser in the New York Times, click here.