Authors

Arata Tendō

Arata Tendō 天童荒太

Arata Tendō (1960–)  debuted in 1986 under his real name, Noriyuki Kurita, after winning the Yasei Jidai Literary Award for New Writers with Shiro no kazoku (The White Family), the first novel he ever wrote. He subsequently wrote movie screenplays among other works before turning to mystery and suspense fiction using the pen name by which he is known today. In 1995 Tendō received the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize for Kazokugari (Family Hunting), a novel about family breakdown. Eien no ko (The Eternal Child, 2000), which treats child abuse, earned him the Mystery Writers of Japan Award and became a bestseller. Tendō is known for his slow output and admits that his 2008 Naoki Prize winner, Itamu hito (The Mourner), took him seven years to write. In that work the protagonist, Shizuto, keeps a diary memorializing the deaths of nameless others; a similar record kept by Tendō in real life was published in 2009 as Shizuto nikki (The Shizuto Diaries), indicating the extent to which the character Shizuto mirrors the author himself.

Books by Arata Tendō
  • Book

    The Mourner

    This novel traces six months in the life of 32-year-old Shizuto Sakatsuki, who wanders Japan mourning the deaths of accident and crime victims he runs across in newspapers and other sources. Shizuto had been a salesman for a medical supplier until, shocke …

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  • Book

    The Eternal Child

    A novel that created quite a stir among the reading public and became a runaway best seller by shining a light on child abuse. The three main characters are Yuki, Shoichiro, and Ryohei. They first meet at the age of 12 when they are in a residential facil …

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  • Book

    What Happened? What’s Wrong?

    This is the story of Zen, a third grader who never stops asking Dōshita??a versatile question with many meanings dependent on context: What’s up? What happened? What’s the problem? What did you do? How do you feel? So what? Now what? And so forth. Wh …

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