Out of Print
When renowned translator Hanne Schubert falls down a flight of stairs, she suffers a brain injury and ends up with an unusual but real condition: the ability to only speak the language she learned later in life: Japanese. Isolated from the English-speaking world, Hanne flees to Japan, where a Japanese novelist whose work she has recently translated accuses her of mangling his work. Distraught, she meets a new inspiration for her work: a Japanese Noh actor named Moto. Through their contentious interactions, Moto slowly finds his way back onto stage while Hanne begins to understand how she mistranslated not only the novel, but also her daughter, who has not spoken to Hanne in six years. Armed with new knowledge languages both spoken and unspoken, she sets out to make amends.
About the Author
Nina Schuyler's first novel, The Painting, was nominated for the Northern California Book Award and named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and Rocky Mountain News. She was nominated for a 2010 Pushcart Prize and teaches creative writing at the University of San Francisco.
brilliant odyssey of a mother and daughter. In clear, lyric prose, Nina
Schuyler leads the reader into a dazzling kaleidoscope of different languages
and the under- currents of love and anger that belong to all of them. A
profound, suspenseful and beautifully written book.
— Thaisa Frank, author of Heidegger’s Glassesand Enchantment
After a brain injury that impairs her language skills, Hanne, whose life’s work is translation, is forced to fumble for words. A woman whose highest virtue has been correctness and precision comes to discover that the language of the heart is always a fumbling one, and the art of translation becomes a beautiful metaphor for the difficult art of traversing the border between ourselves and the people we love. Schuyler’s prose is beautifully elegant and understated, with every detail made to count in weaving a rich emotional tapestry.
— Catherine Brady, author of Curled in the Bed of Love, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction
In Hanne Schubert’s
talent for language, Nina Schuyler delivers the importance of words in
literature and in life. In her loss, we better understand the long road
of grief, and the distance we will travel for our children.
— Meg Waite Clayton, author of bestseller The Wednesday Sisters and The Wednesday Daughters
lyrical, haunting tale delivered with both grace and smarts. Nina Schuyler
skillfully strips away her translator character’s primary language, and sends
her on a journey of self-discovery to Japan. You’ll be thankful you
— Lalita Tademy, Author of the New York Times bestsellers Cane River and Red River