10 Top Japanese Authors of the Past Decade (2000–2010)

 

Kenzaburo Oe

Kenzaburo Oe

Oe received the 1994 Nobel Prize in Literature (see WLT, Winter 2002, 4–51). His most recent work in English is The Changeling (2010).


Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami

After Oe, Murakami is Japan’s most famous living author and a two-time nominee for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. His most recent work in English is IQ84 (2011).


Hisashi Inoue

Hisashi Inoue

Inoue (1934-2010) was a leading Japanese playwright and writer of comic fiction. He served as Japan’s PEN Club president from 2003 to 2007.


Hitomi Kanehara

Hitomi Kanehara

A new author in the making, Kanehara received the Akutagawa Prize in 2003, judged by Ryu Murakami. Her latest work in English is Autofiction (2008).


Hiromi Kawakami

Hiromi Kawakami

A writer known for her offbeat style of storytelling. Her story “In the Palace of the Dragon King” appears on the WLT website this month.


Natsuo Kirino

Natsuo Kirino

A mystery/thriller writer. Her story Out (1997) has been adapted to a movie and is known in America as the movies Ring and Ring 2. Her latest work in English is Real World (2008).

 


Miyuki Miyabe

Miyuki Miyabe

A prolific writer who has won many literary awards. Many of her works have been translated into English, most recently Ico, Castle in the Mist (2010).

 


Ryu Murakami

Ryu Murakami

An author known for his brutal and shocking style of writing who has received many literary awards for his works. Popular Hits of the Showa Era is his most recent book in English (see WLT, Sept. 2011, 63).

 


Risa Wataya

Risa Wataya

Another up-and-coming author who shared the Akutagawa Prize with Hitomi Kanehara. She is the youngest author to receive this prestigious award. Her latest work is Katte ni furuetero (2010).

 


Banana Yoshimoto

Banana Yoshimoto

A contemporary writer who has also won several literary awards. Her latest book in English is The Lake (2011).

 

Compiled by Stacie Woodrow

 

 

Editorial note: For more, read “In the Palace of the Dragon King” by Hiromi Kawakami, and read also, Takeshi Kimoto’s essay, “Post-3/11 Literature: Two Writers from Fukushima” in the print or digital edition of WLT.


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