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Mieko Kawakami

   When the disheveled Shinya Tanaka (田中慎弥) plodded onto the stage (see video) to give his interview with the press after winning the prestigious Akutagawa Prize[1] a week ago, I couldn’t help remembering when a very different writer won the prize four years earlier.

   Mieko Kawakami (川上未映子), a singer and author from Osaka, was awarded the prize in 2008 for her second novel Chichi to Ran (乳と卵Breasts and Egg).

   I have not yet read anything by the author, but if she writes half as good as she looks, forget about Haruki Murakami and short-list this gorgeous woman for the Nobel Prize!


[1] The Akutagawa Prize (芥川賞, Akutagawa Shô) is a semiannual prize given to promising new writers of serious fiction. Established in 1935, it is named after the novelist Ryûnosuke Akutagawa. Mieko Kawakami won the 138th prize; Shinya Tanaka, the 146th.

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