Authors

Akiko Itoyama

Akiko Itoyama 絲山秋子

Akiko Itoyama (1966–)  represents the generation of female authors who emerged in Japan after the 1986 passage of the revised Equal Employment Opportunity Act, which sought to do away with gender-based discrimination in the workplace. After graduating from university she joined a household appliance manufacturer. Her experiences in the company’s sales force are readily evident in her stories. She began writing while still a company employee and left the firm in 2001. Her 2003 debut publication Ittsu onrī tōku (It’s Only Talk) was nominated for the Akutagawa Prize and won the Bungakukai Prize for New Writers. In 2004 her Fukurokōji no otoko (Dead-End Man) garnered the Kawabata Yasunari Prize, generally given to veteran authors and considered the hallmark of the year’s top short story. She has gone on to add numerous prizes to her portfolio. Itoyama presents her own annual award, the Itoyama Prize, to the piece that entertained her most each year, announcing it on her blog. Her other titles include Ririku (Takeoff), a novel, and Tsuma no chōzen (The Detached Wife), a collection of three novellas about detachment.
www.akiko-itoyama.com

Books by Akiko Itoyama
  • Book

    In Pursuit of Lavender

    In this novel-length road story the female protagonist, who is haunted by an audiohallucination?"twenty ells of linen are worth a coat"?that plays over and over in her mind, escapes from a mental hospital with a young man. This is the narrative of their j …

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  • Book

    Waiting off the Coast

    The Akutagawa Prize-winning title work in this collection depicts the ties between the female narrator and Futotchan, a man who works with her at the Fukuoka branch of a home-fixtures manufacturer, which they both joined in the same year. The city is dist …

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  • Book

    Takeoff

    Though this narrative is structured as a suspenseful mystery, much of its interest lies in the telling way author Akiko Itoyama probes the emotional and psychological effects of sudden loss. Hiromu Satō grew up in a regional Japanese city, earned his de …

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