Maki Kashimada’s first novel Two won the 1998 Bungei Prize. Since then, she has established herself as a writer of literary fiction and become known for her avant-garde style. In 2005 she received the Mishima Yukio Prize for Love at 6,000 Degrees Celsius, a novel set in Nagasaki and based on Hiroshima mon amour by Marguerite Duras, and in 2007 she took the Noma Prize for New Writers for Picardy Third. She was nominated three times for the Akutagawa Prize before ultimately garnering the award in 2012 with Touring the Land of the Dead. One of her best-known works is The Kingdom of Zero (2009), which reworks Dostoevsky's The Idiot into the tale of a saintly idiot in Japan. She has been a follower of the Japanese Orthodox Church since high school and was married to a member of its clergy.