This second special Live Literature event presented by the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester to flag International Mother Language Day paints a poignant picture of Japanese society today via two very different books, albeit with similar themes. How do writers – both natives and ‘outsiders’ – respond to tragedy and recount the lived experience of survivors? This is the topic for discussion, and authors Mariko Nagai and Richard Lloyd Parry will be offering their views, as well as reading from their work. Japanese novelist, poet and photographer Mariko Nagai sifts through landscape and history to present the contemporary life of four Japanese cities marked by catastrophe in her latest book Irradiations, while British foreign correspondent and writer Richard Lloyd Parry delves into the 2011 Japanese tsunami. Based in Tokyo, he is the Asia Editor of The Times, and his book Ghosts Of The Tsunami is a painstaking dispatch from the disaster and a study of the spiritual and psychological landscape left in its wake, described as ‘a brilliant, unflinching account’ by The Observer‘s Rachel Cooke.