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Maki Kashimada

Maki Kashimada

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.

All Maki Kashimada's books

Latest reviews

  • “A profound and deeply intelligent work, a refreshing inversion of what has become traditional trauma narratives, in which history is presented as an inescapable, fatalistic force informing every contemporary outcome.”
    — NPR, Mar 13 2023
  • “Kashimada’s book blurs the national and the personal in a way that suggests the continued difficulty of working through world-historical trauma.”
    — The New York Times Book Review, Mar 7 2023
  • “A novel about learning to acknowledge bad memories rather than hide them away.”
    — Foreword Reviews, Feb 1 2023
  • “While Kashimada’s stories, like Murakami’s, resist easy interpretation, the former revel in the beauty of experience, whether sorrowful or joyous, affirming life in all its strangeness, horror and mystery.”
    — The Times Literary Supplement, May 14 2021
  • “Kashimada’s writing is exceptional; this collection is dark and suffocating. It is part of a trend in Japan of female authors rewriting traditional and well-loved stories through a feminist lens.”
    — The Spectator, May 8 2021
  • “An ethereal novel combining two tales exploring memory, love, and loss.”
    — Vogue (UK), Apr 18 2021
  • “Maki Kashimada writes about one woman’s trauma with razor-perfect concision and an austere beauty.”
    — Asian Review of Books, Apr 5 2021
  • “A compelling voice and vision, and Touring the land of the Dead & Ninety-Nine Kisses is a very lively and quite charming family-tale."
    — The Complete Review, Mar 25 2021
  • “An unusual love story that simply works [ . . . ] let’s hope we see more of Kashimada’s work in English very soon.”
    — Tony’s Reading List, Mar 9 2021
  • “A delicate, layered exploration of family, trauma, and memory [ . . . ] An intriguing introduction to a significant voice in contemporary Japanese fiction.”
    — Kirkus Reviews, Mar 1 2021
  • “Magical.”
    — The Guardian, Dec 27 2020


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