You can now Download A Shameful Life: (Ningen Shikkaku) Light Novel in epub and pdf format
This is a new translation of the 2nd best-selling novel in Japan (after Soseki’s Kokoro); the other translation on the market is No Longer Human, trans. Donald Keene, pub. New Directions; (now 8th edition) and sells 40-50 copies per week
title is widely adopted by classrooms as one of the main representatives of postwar Japanese literature
there are 103 programs offering degrees in Japanese literature in the US
the market for translation is growing: in Y2015, 23 Japanese lit titles were published, out of 600 (up from 340 in 2010) (source Three Percent)
Amazon is the largest single publisher of translation (having invested $10 million in development in 2015); this increases visibility and demand for works in translation
WHY A NEW TRANSLATION?
Brings the text into the 21st century: the Keene translation is now almost 60 years old. this new translation provides a more natural reading experience that more closely parallels that of the contemporary Japanese reader of the original.
Greater attention to cultural difference: Where the existing translation tends to blur, abridge or assimilate specifically “Japanese” elements of the text, the new translation is complete and retains elements of cultural difference while providing sufficient context to avoid reader confusion.
Reveals a different side of the novel: Dazai Osamu was one of the most important writers of 20th century Japan and Ningen shikkaku is one of his most complex novels. It deserves more than one voice in English.