Authors

Shinji Ishii

Shinji Ishii いしいしんじ

Shinji Ishii (1965–)  was born in Osaka and earned a degree in French literature at Kyoto University. He worked at a white-collar job for a time before making his literary debut with Amusuterudamu no inu (The Dog of Amsterdam) in 1994. He received the Tsubota Jōji Literature Award in 2003 for Mugifumi Kūtsue (Kutze, Stepp’n on Wheat, tr. 2014). He has been short-listed six times for the Mishima Yukio Prize: in 2004 for Puranetariumu no futago (The Planetarium Twins); in 2006 for Pō no hanashi (The Story of Po); in 2007 for Mizuumi (Lake); in 2009 for Yon to sore ijō no kuni (The Land of Four and Above); in 2012 for Aru ichinichi (One Day), based on the birth of his son, which won the Oda Sakunosuke Prize; and in 2016 for Akusei (Awful Voice), which won the Kawai Hayao Literary Prize. His other works include Buranko nori (The Swing Rider, 2000), Toritsukare otoko (The Possessed Man, 2001), and Ishii Shinji no Kyūba nikki (Shinji Ishii’s Cuban Diary, 2006). Since 2007 he has has appeared periodically in live performances where he writes “on-the-spot stories” (sonoba shōsetsu)—an outgrowth of requests he received for public readings of his work. He is regarded as a master storyteller, spinning fantastic tales that can be enjoyed by readers young and old.

Books by Shinji Ishii
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    Age

    The volume contains 27 stories linked loosely by a shared theme: the imprint of age. Switching points of view adroitly from that of a small child to the elderly and various ages in between and beyond, not to mention those of animals, supernatural beings, …

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    Awful Voice

    This ambitious work of literary fiction uses the motifs of voice and music as well as such natural imagery as moss, water, mushroom spores, and towering trees to trace the history of the earth. The story does not present the reader with a single main char …

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    Kutze, Stepp’n on Wheat

    Nicknamed "Cat," the first-person narrator was taught by his grandfather, a timpanist for the local wind ensemble in the small port town where they live, how to sound more like a cat than a real one. His father is a math teacher, obsessed with finding the …

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