Authors

Kanako Nishi

Kanako Nishi 西加奈子

Kanako Nishi (1977–)  was born in Tehran, Iran, where her family had relocated for her father’s job. She subsequently lived in Japan for several years before moving with her family to Cairo, Egypt, where she spent four of her elementary school years. After college, Nishi wrote for an information magazine as a freelancer. At 25 she began writing fiction, and made her literary debut in 2004 with the short story collection Aoi (Blue). In 2006 she won the Oda Sakunosuke Prize for her novel Tsūtenkaku (Tower to Heaven), and in 2012 she received the Kawai Hayao Literary Prize for the novel Fukuwarai (Funny Face). Her monumental 2014 novel Saraba!, in which the action roves across all of the places where she has lived, from Iran to Egypt and Osaka to Tokyo, garnered her the prestigious Naoki Prize. Nishi’s forthright portrayals of the alienation experienced by characters with strong personalities have gained her a wide following, especially among young readers. She is also known as an avid fan of professional wrestling.

Books by Kanako Nishi
  • Book

    So Long!

    A man who was born in Iran and spent some of his formative years in Egypt looks back on his life from the age of 37. Much of his focus rests on his relationship with his elder sister, whose adjustment difficulties as a child spill over into her adult life …

    Details
  • Book

    About Kiriko

    Raised by loving parents, Kiriko grows up with a strong sense of self-esteem, and she is a leader from the time she is small. When she’s in the first grade, she finds a black kitten in a storage shed behind the school gym. She takes him home and names h …

    Details
  • Book

    i

    The i of the title represents both the imaginary unit in math (i2 = ?1) and the English first-person pronoun I. It is also a homophone for?ai, the Japanese word for “love,” as well as for Ai, the name of the main character. When her high school math t …

    Details
  • Book

    Burning Beloved

    This volume contains eight short stories about people who become caught up in some fixation and find it altering their lives. The title story centers on two women, Nashida and Hamanaka, who have been close friends since high school. Hamanaka’s bla …

    Details