Sam Bett

Sam Bett

Sam Bett is a fiction writer and Japanese translator. His translation of Yukio Mishima’s Star won the 2019–2020 Japan–U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature.

The Flowers of Buffoonery

Fiction by Osamu Dazai

Translated from the Japanese by Sam Bett

The Flowers of Buffoonery opens in a seaside sanitarium where Yozo Oba—the narrator of No Longer Human at a younger age—is being kept after a failed suicide attempt. While he is convalescing, his friends and family visit him, and other patients and nurses drift in and out of his room. Against this dispiriting backdrop, everyone tries to maintain a lighthearted, even clownish atmosphere: playing cards, smoking cigarettes, vying for attention, cracking jokes, and trying to make each other laugh.…
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Star

Fiction by Yukio Mishima

Translated from the Japanese by Sam Bett

All eyes are on Rikio. And he likes it, mostly. His fans cheer, screaming and yelling to attract his attention—they would kill for a moment alone with him. Finally the director sets up the shot, the camera begins to roll, someone yells “action”; Rikio, for a moment, transforms into another being, a hardened young yakuza, but as soon as the shot is finished, he slumps back into his own anxieties and obsessions.…
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