Kikuko Tsumura was born in Osaka, Japan, where she still lives today. In her first job out of college, Tsumura experienced workplace harassment and quit after ten months to retrain and find another position, an experience that inspired her to write stories about young workers. She has won numerous Japanese literary awards including the Akutagawa Prize and the Noma Literary New Face Prize, and her first short story translated into English, 'The Water Tower and the Turtle', won a PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology recognized Tsumura's work with a New Artist award in 2016. There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job is her first novel to be translated into English.
Polly Barton is a translator of Japanese literature and non-fiction, based in the UK. Stories she has translated have appeared in Words Without Borders, Granta and The White Review. Full-length translations include Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki and Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda. After being awarded the 2019 Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize, she is currently working on a non-fiction book entitled Fifty Sounds.