My name is Alison Fincher and I love Japanese literature.

Read Japanese Literature is a resource for people who want to read and enjoy Japanese fiction in English translation. The podcast is a way to learn about the history of Japanese literature and some of its best works. (Listen to the first season for a broad survey.)

Our List of Japanese Fiction in English Translation is an index of titles that have been or are currently available in English. You can also find reading lists, reviews, and other information about Japanese books and authors.

Support Read Japanese Literature

There are many ways you can support Read Japanese Literature:

Why Japanese Literature?

Translated literature is important. Fiction lets us read through the lens of people who have been to places, experienced things outside of our reach. When we learn about a literature’s context, we avoid reading it just because it’s “exotic” or “cool”. Besides, books are so much richer when we know what sorts of ideas and experiences the authors and original-languages readers might have had.

Most importantly, great stories transcend culture. They ask and sometimes answer some of life’s most important questions like what is it to be human? and what gives life meaning?

Japanese literature provides a unique perspective on the 21st century. Its contemporary fiction is some of the first to address the issues facing the developed world in the 2020s, especially the exhaustion of culture and economy. There has also been a fascinating push by English-language translators in the last decade to bring an exciting number of female authors into English translation.

Who Am I?

My name is Alison Fincher.

My first love is English literature. I have a master’s degree in English from Oxford University, and I taught middle and high school English for almost a decade. My degrees may not be in Japanese, but they have taught me the importance of interdisciplinary research. RJL’s resources make history, politics, philosophy, and culture a part of the story, too.

I have been reading and studying Japanese literature exclusively for almost five years. I have published more than 30 reviews of contemporary Japanese fiction, and have friendships with Japanese-to-English translators all over the world. In 2021, I passed Japanese Language Proficiency Exam for an ability to understand basic Japanese. Professors make use of my work in several US college and university courses.