Questions and Topics for Discussion
The Translation of Love
1. Why do you think the author chose to center the story around Aya and Fumi?
2. How does Fumi and Aya’s friendship change over the course of the novel?
3. How do the letters to MacArthur shape the different narratives of the story?
4. How does the theme of letter writing pull together the different storylines?
5. What do you think the importance is of Corporal Yoshitaka “Matt” Matsumoto’s narrative to the storyline as a whole?
6. Do you think Fumi’s older sister had a good reason for leaving home?
7. Why do you think she eventually came back?
8. What is the significance of the stones Aya collects?
9. Do you think Aya’s father has any regrets about choosing to return to Japan after the war?
10. What do you think the title “The Translation of Love,” pertains to?
11. Was there anything about the novel’s depiction of post WWII that surprised you?