Brian is a lecturer and translator currently based in Montréal after living in Chicago, Kyoto, and Yokohama. After graduate school at University of Chicago and Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, he has worked over ten years in the East Asian Studies Department at McGill University and has published academically in the peer-reviewed journals Mechademia, positions: asia critique, and Japan Forum on Japanese literature and contemporary society.
As a translator, Brian has worked in a variety of fields for over 20 years. He specializes in literary translation, many times working closely with living authors. His published translations include the collection We, the Children of Cats by Tomoyuki Hoshino (PM Press), which was longlisted for the 2013 Best Translated Book Award, and the short story “See” by Erika Kobayashi, which was the first runner-up in Asymptote’s Close Approximations Translated Fiction Contest in 2017.
Other translations of his have appeared in venues including Granta, Aperture, LitHub, Queer: LGBTQ Writing from Ancient Times to Yesterday (Head of Zeus, 2021), and The Art and Craft of Asian Stories (Bloomsbury, 2021).
Awards and Recognition
- Runner-up in Asymptote's 2017 Close Approximations Translated Fiction Contest for my translation of "See" by Erika Kobayashi
- Longlisted for 2013 Best Translated Book Award for "We, The Children of Cats: Stories and Novellas by Tomoyuki Hoshino" (PM Press, 2012)
Press and Media Mentions
- Shelf Awareness Q&A: Erika Kobayashi and Brian Bergstrom on Trinity, Trinity, Trinity
- Co-translation with Nishimura Keiko of "The Purehearted Major: On Innocence," by Kotani Mari (Mechademia: Second Arc, Fall 2021)
- Translation for LitHub: "A Tale of Three Diaries: On Destroyed Landscapes and Lost Narratives: Erika Kobayashi Travels from Auschwitz to Fukushima"
- Close Approximations: In Conversation With Fiction Runner-up, Brian Bergstrom
- Translation of "Pink" by Tomoyuki Hoshino, including Translator's Note, for Granta
- Translation for Aperture: Long interview with photographer Kikuji Kawada (2019)