Authors

Yoko Tawada

Yoko Tawada 多和田葉子

Yoko Tawada  (1960–)  majored in Russian at university, but during her first job developed a passion for all things German and moved to Germany for postgraduate study. She got her Master's at Hamburg University and her PhD at Zurich before returning to Germany to write. Her first publication was a collection of poems. In 1991 her novella Kakato o nakushite (Missing Heels, tr. 1998) won the Gunzo Prize for New Writers. The novella Inu mukoiri (The Bridegroom Was a Dog, tr. 1998) was awarded the Akutagawa Prize in 1993, and Yogisha no yako ressha (Suspects on the Night Train), a series of linked stories, received the Tanizaki Jun'ichiro Prize in 2003. Tawada lives in Germany and writes in both Japanese and German. She describes her approach in her essay Ekusofoni (Exophony), stressing that what's important is not each individual language, but the space between them. "I don't want to be an author who writes either in language A or language B," she declares. "I want to find that poetical ravine that divides the two and tumble into it." In 1996 she won the Robert Bosch Stiftung Chamisso Prize and in 2005 was awarded the Goethe Medal. In 2011 her novel Yuki no renshusei (The Trainee of Snow) won the Noma Prize for Literature.

Books by Yoko Tawada
  • Book

    Suspects on the Night Train

    In this prizewinning postmodern novel, "you"?the second-person narrator?are a traveler on a night train bound for a series of fantastic occurrences. "You" are a dancer. Always on the move for one reason or another, you travel to Paris, to Graz, to Zagreb …

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  • Book

    The Trainee of Snow

    This is a story of three generations?a grandmother, mother and grandchild?but with a difference: the characters are not people but polar bears with the ability to understand human speech. In the first part, the narrator is a she-bear, the one-time star of …

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