A collection of contemplative, lyrical stories examining the visible and invisible consequences of atomic power on Japanese society
Sunrise is a collection of interconnected stories continuing Erika Kobayashi’s examination of the effects of nuclear power on generations of women. Connecting changes to everyday life to the development of the atomic bomb, Sunrise shows us how the discovery of radioactive power has shaped our history and continues to shape our future.
In the opening, eponymous story “Sunrise,” Yoko, born exactly two years and one day after Nagasaki was decimated, mirrors her life to the development of nuclear power in Japan. In “Precious Stones,” four daughters take their elderly mother to the restorative waters of a radium spring, exchanging tales of immortality. In “Hello My Baby, Hello My Honey,” a woman goes into labor during the final days of WWII. And finally, “The Forest of Wild Birds” shows Erika visiting the site of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster, touring grounds that were once covered in green.
Translator Brian Bergstrom returns in this collection, bringing to life Kobayashi’s unsettling, lasting, and striking prose. The stories in Sunrise force a reckoning with the lasting effects of known and unknown histories and asks how much of modern life is influenced by forces outside of our control.
About the Author
Erika Kobayashi is a visual artist based in Tokyo and the author of Trinity, Trinity, Trinity. Her novel Breakfast with Madame Curie, published in 2014 by Shueisha, was shortlisted for both the Mishima and the Akutagawa Prize. Sunrise: Radiant Stories is her second work of fiction to be published in English.
TRANSLATOR BIO: Brian Bergstrom is a lecturer and translator who has lived in Chicago, Kyoto, and Yokohama. His writing and translations have appeared in publications including Granta, Aperture, Lit Hub, Mechademia, Japan Forum, positions: asia critique, and The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories. He is the editor and principal translator of We, the Children of Cats by Tomoyuki Hoshino (PM Press), which was longlisted for the 2013 Best Translated Book Award. His translation of Trinity, Trinity, Trinity by Erika Kobayashi (Astra House, 2022) won the 2022 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. He is currently based in Montréal, Canada.
"I loved Erika Kobayashi’s Trinity Trinity Trinity, so I am lining up for her collection of strange and reflective connected stories about nuclear power and its effect on Japanese people and society, especially its women." —Karla J. Strand, Ms. Magazine