Hiromi Kawakami

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Hiromi Kawakami

Hiromi Kawakami 川上弘美

Hiromi Kawakami (1958–)  has won accolades for her innovative style—notably in her novel Manazuru, which won the MEXT Award for the Arts in 2007 and has been translated into English, German, French, and more than half a dozen other languages—as well as producing a growing body of highly realistic, eminently readable stories about the lives and loves of women in contemporary Japan. She first began submitting stories to science-fiction magazines and taking on editorial work while majoring in biology at Ochanomizu University. Her literary coming of age arrived in 1994, when she won the Pascal Short Story Award for New Writers, an all-online competition, for Kamisama (God Bless You). In 1996, she received the Akutagawa Prize for her short story Hebi o fumu (tr. Record of a Night Too Brief), which established her among the standard bearers of the Japanese literary world. In 2001 she won the Tanizaki Jun’ichirō Prize for her best-selling novel Sensei no kaban (tr. The Briefcase), which was adapted for television by the writer and director Teruhiko Kuze. After the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, she created a commotion with Kamisama 2011 (tr. God Bless You, 2011, in the anthology March Was Made of Yarn), a reworking of her earlier story relocated to radiation-contaminated Fukushima. She received the Yomiuri Prize for Literature in 2014 for her novel Suisei (Running Water), and the Izumi Kyōka Prize in 2015 for her novel Ōkina tori ni sarawarenai yō (Careful Not to Be Carried Away by a Big Bird).

Books by Hiromi Kawakami
  • Book

    Manazuru

    Man and woman, sex, love and death . . . As German literary scholar Osamu Ikeuchi wrote in the January 2007 edition of Shincho, these "timeless themes are dealt with in just proportion in this novel, a work of such strength that one is left speechless." T …

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  • Book

    Running Water

    The story takes place in Tokyo in 2013 and reflects back on the unusual relationship of the narrator Miyako, 55, with her brother Ryō, 54. Nearly 20 years have gone by since the two unmarried siblings returned to live in the home where they grew up. Miya …

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  • Book

    Please Take Good Care of My Corpse

    In spite of its odd premise, the title work in this collection of 18 short stories instantly captures the reader’s interest and leaves a strong impression at the end. Following her father’s last wishes, narrator Sakura, 33, has been visiting mystery …

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