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Australia-Japan Society of NSW

Zoom Culture Series: In Conversation with Alison Watts, Japanese literary translator

  • 15 Oct 2023
  • 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
  • Online by Zoom
  • 13


  • Anyone with a computer or device

Registration is closed

A Conversation with Alison Watts, translator of

What You Are Looking For Is In The Library

Alison's translation of Michiko Aoyama's What You are Looking for is in the Library (お探し物は図書室まで) (Doubleday UK/ HarperCollins USA) has just been released to wide acclaim, scoring a coveted review in The New York Times.

Alison is a long-term resident of Japan with a successful record in translating contemporary Japanese literature. Her past translations include Sweet Bean Paste (あん) a long-selling bestseller by Durian Sukegawa  (助川ドリアン), and Spark (火花), the publishing phenomenon by Naoki Matayoshi.

In this interview we will be asking Alison about her latest book translation, and leave plenty of time for audience questions as well.


Alison Watts was born in Millicent, South Australia and has degrees from the University of Adelaide and Sheffield University. She has been a full-time freelance literary translator since 2016. Her novel translations include Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa, Spark by Naoki Matayoshi, novels by Riku Onda, and The Boy and the Dog by Shusei Hase.

Alison was awarded the Cornell University Kyoko Selden Memorial Prize for Translation in 2021 for an excerpt from Durian Sukegawa’s travel memoir A Dosimeter on The Narrow Road to Oku. She also translates sashiko books for Tuttle Publishing. Read more about her literary translation activities here.

We look forward to welcoming Alison for what promises to be a fascinating conversation.

How to sign up

Sign up at the registration page. Your registration will be confirmed and the day before the event a Zoom link will be sent out to registered participants.

The event is suitable for all ages and it is free to attend.

About the Society

The Australia-Japan Society of NSW Incorporated (AJS-NSW) aims to bring together Australian and Japanese people living in NSW to explore mutual interests.

AJS-NSW holds regular business, social and cultural functions, at various locations around Sydney.

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PO Box R937, Royal Exchange NSW 1225

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