by Polly Barton
In this dazzling debut, Polly Barton reflects on her experience of moving to the Japanese island of Sado at the age of twenty-one and on her journey to becoming a literary translator. Written in fifty semi-discrete entries, Fifty Sounds is a personal dictionary of the Japanese language that draws together a variety of cultural reflections - from conformity and being an outsider, to the gendering of Japanese society, and attitudes towards food and the cult of 'deliciousness' - alongside probing insights into the transformative powers of language-learning. Candid, humane, witty and wise, Fifty Sounds is remarkable work that takes a transparent look at language itself, lifting the lid on the quietly revolutionary act of learning, speaking, and living in another language.
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Date of Publication: 13/04/2021