Presenting notable European writers


English-Japanese simultaneous interpretation

4 Mon. (National holiday) 14:45 - 16:15 (Part 1) 16:30-18:00 (Part 2)
Delegation of the European Union to Japan Schuman Auditorium

Part 1: Prominent writers from Spain, Portugal, and Finland read from and introduce their works.

Part 2: Writers from Austria and Belgium read from and introduce their works, and discuss their works and literature with award-winning Japanese author Takahiro Ueda.

Part 1


Menchu Gutiérrez (Madrid, 1957), who studied Art and Literature in Madrid and London, is a novelist, poet, essayist and translator. In her work she explores the need to search within the human being for understanding of one’s sense of existence. Notable among her works are the poetry collections La mordedura blanca (The White Bite Mark), El ojo de Newton (Newton’s Eye, 2005); Lo extraño, la raíz (The Strange, the Root, 2015). Among her prose works the following books stand out: La mujer ensimismada (The Daydreaming Woman, 2001); Disección de una tormenta (Dissection of a Storm, 2005); El faro por dentro (The Beacon Within, 2011); and Araña, cisne, caballo (Spider, Swan, Horse, 2014); as well as the literary bibliography San Juan de la Cruz (Saint John of the Cross, 2003).

Part 1

Valter Hugo MÃE

Born in Angola in 1971, Valter Hugo Mãe is a Portuguese language writer and artist who achieved public recognition after being awarded, in 2007, the José Saramago Prize in Literature for the novel O remorso de Baltazar Serapião. In 2012, he won the Portugal Telecom Literature Award for the novel A máquina de fazer espanhóis. A poet and prolific fiction writer, he is also an accomplished musician and visual arts artist who contributes to various literary, arts and music publications in Portugal.  A publisher, he has edited a number of literary anthologies for Quasi Press and co-edits the literary magazine Apeadeiro.

Part 1


Mia Kankimäki (born 1971) has worked as an editor and copywriter. Her first book Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster (2013) took her to Kyoto in search of Sei Shonagon, a Japanese courtlady and writer who lived a thousand years ago. Her second book The Women I Think about at Night (2018) is part travelogue and part biography in which she writes about the inspirational women writers, explorers and artists of history.

Part 2


Thomas Stangl was born on 4 January 1966 in Vienna, where he studied philosophy and Hispanic studies, graduating in 1991. Since the beginning of the 1990s he has published essays, reviews, and later prose works in newspapers and literary magazines. His first novel Der einzige Ort appeared in 2004 and was awarded the Aspecte Literature Prize for best debut novel written in the German language. The book, as well as all his books other books published since, was almost unanimously praised by critics. Stangl lives and works in Vienna.

Part 2


Johan Lauwereyns (born in Antwerp on 13 May 1969) is a writer and scientist. He works as a cognitive neuroscientist at the Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, where he specializes in the voluntary control of attention and decision making. As a multilingual poet, he gained an international reputation for innovative work. Lauwereyns has published single-author volumes of poetry in his native language, Dutch, and in Japanese and English. He has received several prizes and nominations for his work in Dutch most notably the VSB Poetry Prize2012.

Part 2 Discussant

Takahiro UEDA

Takahiro Ueda is a Japanese novelist. He won the 2019 Akutagawa Prize for his science-fiction novel Nimuroddo (Nimrod). He also won the 2015 Mishima Prize for My One True Love. In 2016, he was named by Granta magazine as one of the best young writers in Japan.

Delegation of the European Union to Japan

Europa House, 4-6-28 Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line "Hiroo" station, Exit 1 (10 minute walk)