Authors

Kiyoko Murata

Kiyoko Murata 村田喜代子

Kiyoko Murata (1945–)  is a native of Yawata in northern Kyushu. She was married with children and in her thirties before she seriously tried her hand at fiction writing. Her major breakthrough came in 1986, when a story titled Netsuai (Ardent Love), which originally appeared in a coterie journal, was republished by the venerable literary magazine Bungakukai (Literary World) and also named as a candidate for the Akutagawa Prize. She took the Akutagawa the following year for her novella In the Pot (tr. 1991); this work was later adapted into the film Rhapsody in August by Akira Kurosawa. She received the Kawabata Yasunari Prize in 1998 for her story Bocho (The Crab That Summons the Tide); the MEXT Award for the Arts in 1999 for the novel Ryuhi gyotenka (Longing for Home), about Korean potters forcibly transported to Japan in the 17th century; and the Noma Prize for Literature in 2010 for her volume of linked stories Kokyo no wagaya (My Old Home). In 2007, the Japanese government decorated her with the Medal with Purple Ribbon. She is known for a style that often incorporates fantastic or fanciful elements. Her other works include the novel Hito ga mitara kaeru ni nare (If Someone Looks, Turn into a Frog), the story collection Kosen (Pinpoint Beam), and the novel Yujo ko (A Woman of Pleasure).

Books by Kiyoko Murata
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    My Old Home

    This collection of linked short stories describes how 65-year-old Emiko, born in 1942 during World War II, spends some five months in the Kuju Highlands of northern Kyushu while she prepares to sell her family home. Emiko lost her husband to a stroke six …

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  • Book

    Pinpoint Beam

    Four of the eight stories in this volume are based on the author's personal experiences. Several days after the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear-plant disaster in northeastern Japan, Murata was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and began re …

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    A Woman of Pleasure

    Sold to the Shinonome-ro brothel by her poverty-stricken parents, 15-year-old Ichi Aoi arrives, from her home on the tiny Pacific island of Iwo Jima, at one of Japan's most thriving pleasure quarters, in the city of Kumamoto on Kyushu, the southernmost of …

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