Michelle Bailat-Jones on Fog Island Mountains | Tantorious

Tantorious is a monthly podcast series featuring interviews with well-known authors, hosted by Allan Hoving and presented by Tantor Audio.


Michelle Bailat-Jones is a writer and translator. Her work has appeared in a number of journals, including the Kenyon Review and the Atticus Review. She was born in Japan, raised in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, and now lives in Switzerland.

Her debut novel, Fog Island Mountains, is the winner of the Christopher Doheny Award from the Center for Fiction in New York City and has been published in trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook by Tantor Media.


Excerpts from the audio interview:

Q: What is Fog Island Mountains about?

A: It’s a story about a bicultural couple living in southern Japan. The husband is from South Africa and the wife is Japanese. He has just been given a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and she runs away just as the island is about to be hit with a typhoon.

Q: What is the kitsune folktale tradition and how does it relate to the novel?

A: The kitsune (or fox) is very prevalent in Japanese folklore and mythology. There are many variations but the fox is often portrayed as a kind of half-spirit and a trickster. And I thought this would make an interesting parallel with the human characters and their situation in the story.

Listen to a sample of the Tantor audiobook edition of Fog Island Mountains, narrated by Jennifer Ikeda.

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