Keigo Higashino 東野圭吾
Keigo Higashino (1958–) is arguably Japan's biggest bestseller machine today. After graduating from college with a technical degree he went to work for an auto-parts maker as an engineer, but wrote fiction on the side and began submitting his work for the Edogawa Rampo Prize competition; he made his literary debut in 1985 when he won the prize for Hokago (After-School Hours). With this success under his belt he turned to writing full-time, and by the mid-nineties his works were drawing considerable attention. When he won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award in 1998 for the novel Naoko (tr. 2004; original title Himitsu), it became a huge hit, and in the years that followed he produced one bestseller after another. After five previous appearances on the short list for the coveted Naoki Prize, he finally won in 2006 for The Devotion of Suspect X (tr. 2011). He is best known for the Detective Galileo series, to which Suspect X belongs, and the Detective Kaga series set in Tokyo's old shitamachi ("low city") area, to which Shinzanmono (Newcomer; winner of a Konomys No. 1 Ranking) belongs, but he also boasts an extensive and varied body of other works, including black-humor novels. He became president of the Mystery Writers of Japan in June 2009. The English edition of The Devotion of Suspect X was nominated for Best Novel in the 2012 Edgar Awards, and the novel Mugenbana (Dream Flower) received the Shibata Renzaburo Award in 2013.