Authors

Kanae Minato

Kanae Minato 湊かなえ

Kanae Minato (1973–)  was, even as a child, a passionate fan of Maurice Leblanc and Edogawa Rampo. After graduating from university she spent two years in Tonga as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer, returning home to become a high-school home economics teacher and later get married. She started writing in her thirties, initially hoping to become a scriptwriter. In 2005 one of her scripts won an Excellence Award in a competition for new writers sponsored by a satellite TV channel, and another won the Radio Drama Composition Prize in 2007. That same year, Seishokusha (The Saint) won the Shōsetsu Suiri New Writers Prize, marking Minato’s debut as a writer of fiction. Kokuhaku (Confessions; tr. 2014), her first work published in book form and the first chapter of which is based on Seishokusha, received the 2009 Booksellers Award and became an overnight bestseller. Her 2011 title Hana no kusari (Chain of Flowers), a longitudinal history centered on three women, expanded the mystery genre in entirely new directions. In 2016 she received the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize for Yūtopia (Utopia), a small town ensemble story with a mystery twist; and she was nominated for both the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers and the Naoki Prize, for Ribāsu (Reverse) and Poizun dōtā, Hōrī mazā (Poison Daughter, Holy Mother) respectively, establishing her as an awards-list regular. Other works include Shōjo (Girl), Shokuzai (Atonement), and Yakō kanransha (Ferris Wheel at Night).

Books by Kanae Minato
  • Book

    Sublime Chorus

    A collection of four linked stories about Japanese women who find themselves drawn to the South Pacific island nation of Tonga and go through life-changing experiences there. The title work, which comes last in the volume, takes the form of an undelivere …

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  • Book

    Utopia

    The lives of three women in Hanasaki, a fictitious small town on the Pacific coast of Japan, are traced for a little over a year in this insightful novel. The town is home to the largest factory operated domestically by Eight Seas Fisheries, one of Japan …

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  • Book

    Poison Daughter, Holy Mother

    A collection of six mysteries involving incidents of murder, injurious assault, and such by a writer regarded as the originator and queen of the genre known as iyamisu in Japan?literally, “eww mysteries.” The term refers to mystery fiction in which th …

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