One of a small number of successful bilingual novelists writing in Japan today, Levy began as a translator of Japanese poetry, publishing an award winning interpretation of Man'yoshu in 1982. Ten years on and the roles had been reversed with Levy's debut novel in Japanese, Seijōki no Kikoenai Heya, winning the Noma Literary Award for New Writers.
Since then Levy's reputation has continued to grow - so much so that he was nominated for Japan's most coveted literary honour - The Akutagawa Prize (running since 1935) - for his novel Ten'an'mon in 1996. Levy's own life might well make a compelling fiction, the story of a boy born into 1950s California and arriving in Japan at the age of sixteen. Watch the video posted below to discover more about Levy's experience and his own thoughts on the current state of Japanese literature: