Kim Packard has self-published four distinct works, three books in English and a translation of one of her own books into Japanese, writing under the pen name of Uguïsse, derived from the songbird 'uguisu', known in English-speaking countries as Japanese bush warbler. Preferring the shade of foliage during the day, this bird is rarely seen but often heard in urban areas as well as in the Japanese countryside. It appears frequently in traditional Japanese literary works as a motif for spring, especially in poems.
The author’s debut publication, Five Unlikely Tales, is inspired by many images and impressions from Japan. This collection of very short stories spanning genres including vignette, fairy tale, and short story, published in August of 2012, was followed by two more publications on September 25, 2012, one of which, Three Rhymes for Young Poets Age Five to Twelve, is a children’s illustrated book containing three poems and collages created by the author. Published on the same day, A Pig, a Horse, and a Catfish is a fable, written and illustrated by the author. The Japanese translation of this book was published on October 3, 2012 as a derivative work by the author who has a degree in Comparative Culture from the International College at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan.
Born in the U.S., she moved to Japan when still an infant and attended a Japanese parochial kindergarten for two years before entering a progressive private elementary school founded by the poet Hitomi Tomei, who admired Tolstoy, Tagore and Goethe and believed in educating women. Transferring to an international school at the age of ten, she received a bilingual education in English and Japanese, supplementing the American school curriculum with instruction at home in the Japanese language and classical literature with a private tutor. The author studied French in middle school and high school and later moved to France for a number of years and is certified to teach French as well as English and ESL at the secondary level. Three Rhymes for Young Poets Age Five to Twelve was written initially with ESL learners in mind, while A Pig, a Horse, and a Catfish was written to stimulate philosophically oriented discussions among students in seventh grade and above.
Interested in languages, language acquisition, and language learning, the author’s main concern with literature is the aesthetics of writing, namely, the effects of rhythm, sound, and images projected in the mind. The author’s aesthetic sense is informed by readings from the classical works of Japanese, English, and French literature. The combination of the influences of a marked diversity within the international community of Tokyo, where she was raised, and the exposures to traditional arts of Japan through extra-curricular pursuits such as flower arrangement, tea ceremony, wheel-thrown pottery, ink brush painting, calligraphy, and sketching Buddhist sculptures, has shaped the author’s aesthetic sense and world view to integrate a wide range of points of view.
Extended residence in Europe has also contributed to the author’s world view and valuing of local traditional cultures as well as the life history of expatriates, repatriates and other individuals who have flourished under unusual circumstances. Being attentive to how people feel about nationality, ethnicity, culture, sub-culture and other defining aspects that are often responsible for inclusion, exclusion, or association of an individual to a given community, is important to the author who hopes to contribute through her writings to the idea that there are many different tints and shades of gray and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
I'm drawn to writers such as John Cowper Powys, Virginia Woolf and Richard Selzer.
I just finished working on a bilingual edition in paperback of A Pig, a Horse, and a Catfish. I think it would be interesting to continue working on this already published (e-book format) translation until I'm satisfied with the text in Japanese. Perhaps I can bring out two translations, one that is faithful to the text and another one that is further developed as a more literary work. I'm also working on a fable around 3,500 words having to do with developing a sense of humor that I'm trying to polish up.
I'm self-published and have used Booktango, Kindle Direct Publishing, and Smashwords to publish e-books and Wordclay (black and white interior), CreateSpace (black and white or full color interior), and Espresso Book Machine (black and white interior) for publishing paperbacks.
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