The Great Passage

Shion Miura, tr. by Juliet Winters Carpenter


How can a book about a small department of a large publishing house, tasked with publishing a 2,400-page edition of the Japanese language be so engrossing? Translated from the Japanese, no less!

It must be the joint skills of the author and the translator, but this book is pure delight. The employees struggle for years to compile and edit their magnum opus, laboring under time constraints and the constant threat of having their funding pulled. Still, they labor on, driven by their dedication to the great work and to each other. We learn of their personal lives, their hopes and fears, their joys and disappointments. Gradually, we are pulled into their passion, until this dictionary becomes almost as important to us as it is to them.



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