SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL

Leaving home 'to live in a second language'

Yoko Tawada, whose works probe the boundaries of reality and language, was born in Japan, but has lived most of her adult life in Germany.
Yoko Tawada, whose works probe the boundaries of reality and language, was born in Japan, but has lived most of her adult life in Germany.PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL

From the memoirs of a family of polar bears to a dystopian Tokyo where the old live longer while the young deteriorate, the surreal worlds of Yoko Tawada probe the boundaries of reality and language.

The 58-year-old was born in Japan, but has lived most of her adult life in Germany, after she moved to Hamburg for an internship and decided to stay on and find out what it was like "to live in a second language".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2018, with the headline 'Leaving home 'to live in a second language''. Print Edition | Subscribe