The series, Red Circle Minis, which launched Red Circle Authors’ publishing programme at the end of 2018, has been welcomed positively right across the globe: from Canada to Australia; from Japan to the United Kingdom and far beyond.
The series of short original works of fiction by award-winning authors is a perfect addition to the collection of publications at International House, which itself has many and long literary connections. Yukio Mishima, for example, held his wedding reception in its famous Japanese style garden in 1958, with the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Yasunari Kawabata playing an important role at the event.
The books and periodicals at the International House library span all aspects of Japanese studies; literature, history, politics, art and architecture, as well as economics and social studies.
The library also publishes its own bibliographies of useful books for individuals interested in Japan. It has also set up a special display for the newest arrivals in its growing collection, the five Red Circle Minis: Stand-in Companion by Kazufumi Shiraishi, Backlight by Kanji Hanawa, Tokyo Performance by Roger Pulvers, The Refugees’ Daughter by Takuji Ichikawa and The Chronicles of Lord Asunaro also by Kanji Hanawa.
The Red Circle books, which now total five, and the Red Circle Minis series have been reviewed in major publications in Japan in Japanese as well as internationally in English, French, Turkish, Swedish and German despite the series being launched in what the publisher calls an ‘English-first’ strategy with each Mini, an original first edition, being published in English before any other language including Japanese.
Described as ‘original, short, compelling reads’, each book can be read quickly in one session – leaving time-pressed readers with the sense that they have read something far larger and much more substantial, and often wanting more.
The series has clearly struck a chord internationally, and more Minis are in the pipeline. Later this year, Red Circle will publish an original new work by Soji Shimada, dubbed Japan’s postmodern master of the whodunnit, in this critically acclaimed series, and Red Circle is planning more titles from its growing curated circle of award-wining writers.
This new work by Shimada will also be published in English translation before any other language including Japanese as part of Red Circle Authors Limited’s English-first publishing strategy.
The library at International House, also known as I-House, is only open to library members and the hundreds of members of International House.
What the reviewers are saying about Red Circle Minis:
‘Small books for big brains’
‘Beautiful pocket-sized slices of Japanese literature’
‘An incredible window into the zeitgeist of modern Japanese society’
- About Red Circle:Red Circle Authors Limited is a specialist publishing and communications company that conducts bespoke projects on behalf of a carefully selected and curated group of leading Japanese authors. Red Circle showcases Japan’s best creative writing. For more information on Red Circle, Japanese literature, and Red Circle authors please visit: www.redcircleauthors.com.