Teaches courses in modern Japanese literature.
Research interests include the writings of Shimao Toshio, Christianity and Japanese literature, and contemporary fiction. He is the author of Mad Wives and Island Dreams: Shimao Toshio and the Margins of Japanese Literature (1999), Spirit Matters: The Transcendent in Modern Japanese Literature (2006), and is co-editor of the anthology Oe and Beyond: Fiction in Contemporary Japan (1999).
He has also published translations of four novels, one short story collection, and two works of non-fiction by Murakami Haruki, as well as short stories of Murakami’s in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and elsewhere. His translations also include novels by Shimada Masahiko, Kuroi Senji, Yoshimura Akira, Oe Kenzaburo, Yoshida Shuichi, and other writers.
His translation of Kuroi’s novel Life in the Cul-de-sac won the 2001 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the translation of Japanese Literature, and in 2006 he was awarded the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize for his translation of Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, a book which was selected by The New York Times as one of the Ten Best Books of 2005. Recent publications include a translation of a novel by Yoshida Shuichi, Villain (original title: Akunin), the novel Hidaka, by Tatematsu Wahei (translated as Frozen Dreams), Murakami Haruki's 1Q84 (Book 3), and a travel essay by Murakami for GRANTA. He has recently completed translations of a second novel by Yoshida, Parade, Murakami’s latest novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, and the novel Genocide by Takano Kazuaki, all of which are forthcoming in 2014. He is presently researching the work of the Christian novelists Shimao Toshio and Miura Ayako.