Discover the shortlist: Sam Bett, ‘Books can create a whole other universe’
Sam Bett details the creativity involved in the translation process and how he’s never made it past the first page of Don Quixote.
Sam Bett is a writer and translator of Japanese who, with David Boyd, is co-translating the novels of Mieko Kawakami for Europa Editions.
Awarded Grand Prize in the 2016 JLPP International Translation Competition, Bett won the 2019/2020 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for his translation of Star by Yukio Mishima (New Directions, 2019). He has translated fiction by Yoko Ogawa, NISIOISIN and Keigo Higashino as well as essays by Banana Yoshimoto, Haruomi Hosono and Toshiyuki Horie. A founder and host of Us&Them, a quarterly Brooklyn-based reading series showcasing the work of writers who translate, Bett lives in Portland, Maine, USA.
Heaven’s unflinching focus on bullying prompted public conversation of this major problem in Japan that has had lasting positive effects.— Sam Bett, translator of Heaven