Discover the shortlist: Mieko Kawakami, ‘I grew up in a house with no books’
Kawakami talks about the significance of her longlisted work being translated into English.
Mieko Kawakami was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize in 2022. She made her literary debut as a poet in 2006, and published her first novella, My Ego, My Teeth and the World, in 2007.
Born in 1976 in Osaka, Japan, Kawakami is the author of the internationally bestselling novel, Breasts and Eggs, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and one of TIME’s Best 10 Books of 2020. Her writing is known for its poetic qualities and its insights into the female body, ethical questions, and the dilemmas of modern society.
Her works have been translated into many languages and are available all over the world. She has received numerous prestigious literary awards in Japan for her work, including the Akutagawa Prize, the Tanizaki Prize, and the Murasaki Shikibu Prize. She lives in Tokyo..
Having my work translated for the English-speaking world feels like going home, the same as always, and opening the door to find all these people there: someone who feels like an old friend even though we’ve never met.