Authors

Miri Yū

Miri Yū 柳美里

Miri Yū (1968–)  is a citizen of South Korea born and raised in Japan as a permanent resident, and is one of the best-known Zainichi (“resident in Japan”) Korean authors writing in Japanese today. Her works enjoy popularity and critical acclaim in South Korea as well. She is often classified as a writer of “I-novels” because much of her fiction is closely autobiographical. In her nonfiction memoir Inochi (Life), she tells of falling in love with a married man and giving birth to his child after they have parted ways, and of returning to a former lover, the theater group leader who first recognized her talent as a writer, to care for him as he battles cancer. The work became a huge bestseller, and the memoir grew to four volumes as she nursed the love of her life to the end and mourned his death. Yū worked as an actress and playwright before she began publishing fiction in 1994. In 1996, her Furuhausu (Full House, a volume containing two novellas) garnered the Izumi Kyōka Prize and the Noma Prize for New Writers, and the following year her novella Kazoku shinema (Family Cinema) received the coveted Akutagawa Prize. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011 she has been a frequent visitor to Fukushima and continues to host a radio show in which she interviews victims displaced by the triple disaster. Her other major works include Gold Rush (tr. 2002), Hachigatsu no hate (The End of August), Guddobai mama (Goodbye Mama), and Jei-āru Ueno-eki kōen-guchi (Japan Railways Ueno Station, Park Entrance).
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Books by Miri Yū
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    Japan Railways Ueno Station, Park Entrance

    A set of unlikely coincidences links the life of an ordinary man with Japan’s imperial family in this deeply felt work that vividly captures the voices of those who have been left with no place to go. The first son of a farming family in Fukushima Pref …

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    Goodbye Mama

    A mother is driven to attempt suicide when her solo parenting responsibilities overwhelm her and she feels there is no one to whom she can turn. The main action of the story takes place during a two-week period from late June 2012, a little more than a y …

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    Suicide Nation

    Fifteen-year-old Mone Ichihara lives with her parents and ten-year-old brother in Tokyo. Recently she’s been thinking about death a lot. Having failed to get into her first-choice high school, she has lost interest in her studies, can’t find anything …

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    On Air

    Spanning six years in the lives of three female announcers on NTS TV’s flagship news program “NewsEYE”, the story centers on the ambitions and disappointments, hopes and defeats, and dogged determination of a group of women working in the highly cha …

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    After the Rain and Dreams

    Twelve-year-old Ame Sakurai lives in Tokyo with her father Tomoharu, 28, an entomological photographer. Tomoharu has gone off on a trip to Taiwan to photograph insects, and Ame begins to fret and worry when he stops calling. Finally, two weeks after his l …

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    Tiles

    This gripping psycho-thriller depicts with unrelenting horror the madness and murderousness that lurks in unknown corners of the big city. The unnamed protagonist is a mentally unstable magazine designer. Recently divorced, he moves into a one-room apartm …

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    Gold Rush

    This tale of a 14-year-old boy who kills his father was inspired by the true-life crimes of a Kobe boy of that age in 1997. The deadly incident sparked intensive discussions throughout Japan about why it is wrong to kill?a deeply philosophical question th …

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    The End of August

    Author Miri Yū takes up the turbulent lives of her maternal grandfather I Uchoru and his younger brother by 13 years, I Ugun, in this novel, weaving an exquisite tapestry that mixes fiction with her own family’s biographical details and the broader his …

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    Family Secrets

    “Why do I hit the child I love?” Author Miri Yū reveals family secrets and the dark feelings she has struggled with for much of her life in this raw, unvarnished record of a series of intensive counseling sessions she underwent. Yū, 41, lives in Ka …

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