Aki Shimazaki was born in Japan in 1954. She moved to Canada in 1981 and lived in Vancouver and Toronto before settling, in 1991, in Montreal where she taught Japanese and worked as a translator. She has written many novels in French, but only one has been translated into English at this time.
Tsubaki (“Camellia” in Japanese) tells a story of betrayal and vengeance set against the nuclear blast that destroyed Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The image of the camellia, the red flower that stands out against its dark green leaves, runs through Aki Shimazaki’s stark, finely-wrought novel. Spare, almost laconic in its imagery, oblique in its gaze, Tsubaki draws its power from the delicacy of understatement.