Smoking With Toshiya Kamei

Read the Story December 15, 2005

What drew you to this story? How did the piece challenge your translation talents?

This is one of my favorite stories. I thought it was so right for SmokeLong, and didn’t send it to anywhere else.

What has been Edgar’s response to your translations?

Edgar is very pleased with this publication. He has sent me more stories since “The Law” appeared in the last issue of SmokeLong. His writer friends in Mexico have congratulated both of us.

What have we, as readers, gained by reading A DROP OF DEW in English? What have we lost?

I’m just happy that SmokeLong has been read internationally. The story appears in English and Spanish, so I encourage everyone to read both versions.

How’s the MFA in translation going? What are the greatest tests (and rewards) of the program so far?

This semester I’m teaching two classes and taking two. Finding time to work on my translations has been a challenge for me.

A new year approaches (yikes!). So, what’s the best that 2005 had to offer in literature, web sites, music, movies, television, DVD, and the like? Also, any predictions for 2006? And we’d love to hear your New Year’s resolution.

As for my New Year’s resolution, I hope to translate more stories in 2006.


Toshiya Kamei holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas. His translations include Liliana Blum’s The Curse of Eve and Other Stories (2008), Naoko Awa’s The Fox’s Window and Other Stories (2010), Espido Freire’s Irlanda (2011), and Selfa Chew’s Silent Herons (2012). Other translations have appeared in The Global Game (2008), Sudden Fiction Latino (2010), and My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me (2010).

About the Author:

Edgar Omar Avilés was born in Morelia, Michoacán, México, on May 22, 1980. He studied Hispanic literature at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. His stories have appeared in literary journals and anthologies, including Los Mejores Cuentos Mexicanos 2004 (Joaquín Mortiz) and Novísimos Cuentos de la República Mexicana (Tierra Adentro, 2005).

About the Artist:

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison's work here.