Could the Akutagawa Prize get its first American winner? - The Japan Times

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Gregory Khezrnejat, gangly and flimsy with a neatly trimmed graying beard, sits successful beforehand of maine successful a cafe successful the bosom of Tokyo’s bustling Shibuya Ward. Accents play a beardown relation successful his abbreviated communicative “Kaikonchi,” up for an Akutagawa Prize this week, truthful I travel primed for a afloat South Carolinian twang. But if Khezrnejat has a Southern accent, it’s hardly detectable, though it’s besides hard to perceive his brushed dependable intelligibly supra the stream of chatter astir us.

In “Kaikonchi,” oregon “A Clearing,” written by the 39-year-old American successful Japanese, the main character, Russell Shirazi, finds himself mislaid successful a lavation of poignant disorder erstwhile helium hears a opus successful Farsi. He doesn’t cognize thing of the language, but helium tin inactive consciousness a consciousness of sorrow successful the music. I wonderment if that feeling is however Khezrnejat, an world and writer, felt erstwhile helium archetypal came to Japan successful 2000: connected the pleasant broadside of disoriented.

Khezrnejat was calved successful 1984 successful Greenville, South Carolina. His parent remarried erstwhile helium was young, truthful his surname is Persian from his father, though he’s not ethnically Iranian. When Khezrnejat was older, helium wondered what it was similar for his begetter to rise a kid successful his 2nd language. That kernel became the ground for “Kaikonchi,” his 4th published enactment of fiction.

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