Minae Mizumura

Minae Mizumura 水村美苗

Minae Mizumura  (1951–)  has written in an autobiographical vein in her second and third novels (see below), and both portrayals appear to be largely accurate. She moved to the United States with her family when she was 12. The adjustment to American schools was difficult for her, and she escaped into reading modern Japanese literature, immersing herself in a Japanese milieu that no longer existed. After completing both undergraduate and graduate degrees in French literature at Yale, she moved back to Japan. She has subsequently taught modern Japanese literature at Princeton, Stanford, and the University of Michigan. Her first novel was Zoku meian (Light and Darkness Continued, 1990), an extrapolation of Soseki Natsume's unfinished classic, for which she received the MEXT Award for New Artists. Breaking the Japanese convention of vertical text, her second novel, Shishosetsu from left to right (An "I" Novel from Left to Right, 1995), was printed horizontally, English-style; it was awarded the Noma Prize for New Writers. Seven years later her third novel, Honkaku shosetsu (Authenticity: A Real Novel, 2002), won the Yomiuri Prize for Literature. Though not a prolific writer, she continually challenges the conventions of the novel form in her work.

Books by Minae Mizumura
  • Book

    A True Novel

    A retelling of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights in the radically different setting of post-World War II Japan, this star-crossed story of a woman and the two men who are rivals for her love is related by a housekeeper name Fumiko. Born into a poor farm …