Published on October 29 by Valérie Millet of Les Éditions du Sonneur, the new translation is by Paris-based writer Anne-Sylvie Homassel. She reports that bookstores across France reopened last Saturday from the pandemic and they’re eagerly welcoming the new edition, as can be seen in this Facebook post from La Geosphere of Montpelier on the south coast of France.
This is the third international edition of No-No Boy, joining the German and Japanese translations. As with those versions, I had a delightful correspondence with the translator to help untangle a few of Okada’s more idiomatic phrases and Nisei colloquialisms. Thanks to Le Sonneur for the nice acknowledgement and reference back to this website.
Homassel is a Paris-based writer and translator. She co-directs The Green Face (Le Visage vert), a literary magazine and small press devoted to supernatural fiction, and has translated close to 100 volumes, including those of Max Beerbohm, Henry Darger, Willa Cather, John Buchan, Zane Gray, Herman Melville and L. Frank Baum. Under the name Anne-Sylvie Salzman, she’s written the novels and collections Sleep (Sommeil); On the Edge of a Slow Black River (Au bord d’un lent fleuve noir); Lamont; Feral (Vivre sauvage dans les villes); and Zelenka (Dernières nouvelles d’Œsthrénie).
We were fascinated to know more, so here is an edited trans-Atlantic interview conducted via e-mail:
Resisters.com: What was the origin for the French edition? Were you commissioned by the publisher or did you bring the idea to them?
Anne-Sylvie Homassel: I frequently travel to Japan, where I have many friends, and In September 2018, I read an article about No-No Boy in The Japan Times. I soon ordered the book—and when I finished reading it I knew I would want to translate and offer it to French-speaking readers. I mentioned it to publisher Valérie Millet, who runs an independent press called Les Éditions du Sonneur, and she was as thrilled as I was by the novel. Le Sonneur has been publishing for more than 15 years books of all description—works of fiction, travel literature, essays—with a focus on literary quality. So Le Sonneur acquired the rights to No-No Boy—and two years and a pandemic later, here we are.
Continue reading Interview with the French translator of “No-No Boy”