Authors

Shinya Tanaka

Shinya Tanaka 田中慎弥

Shinya Tanaka (1972–)  recalls being particularly inspired by Yasunari Kawabata’s Yukiguni (Snow Country, tr. 1956) in high school. He began writing around age 20 and remained jobless until 2005, when he made his literary debut with the novella Tsumetai mizu no hitsuji (Sheep in Cold Water), which won the Shincho Prize for New Writers. He was first nominated for the Akutagawa Prize in 2007 with the novella Tosho junbishitsu (Cataloging Room) and became a regular on the short list for the prize thereafter. In 2008 he won the Kawabata Yasunari Prize for the short story Sanagi (Chrysalis); he also received the Mishima Yukio Prize for Kireta kusari (Broken Chain), the collection that includes Sanagi. In 2011, on his fifth nomination, he was awarded the Akutagawa Prize for the short story Tomogui (Devouring Each Other). His other works include the novels Kamisama no inai Nippon Shiriizu (The Godless Japan Series, 2008) and Moeru ie (Burning House, 2013); the novella Saishō A (Prime Minister A, 2015); and the story collections Inu to karasu (Dog and Crow, 2009) and Jikken (Experiment, 2010). Highly regarded for his striking imagery, he is a leading voice of Japan’s hikikomori (socially reclusive) generation.

Books by Shinya Tanaka
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    Devouring Each Other

    An element of suspense runs through this tale of a psychosexual battle between father and son. The time is July 1988, when protagonist Toma is 17; the place is the small country town where he lives with his impoverished father and Kotoko, his father's lov …

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    The Broken Chain

    This collection consists of the title novella?a kind of parable with xenophobia as its theme?and two shorter pieces. Set in the fishing village of Akamagaseki at the western tip of Honshu, across the strait from the Korean peninsula, Kireta kusari (The Br …

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    Prime Minister A

    In this political fable reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, protagonist and first-person narrator “T” is an author in his late thirties. In part because he’s out of ideas for stories, he decides to make a trip to the town of O to visit his mother …

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