Yoko Tawada

Winner, 2018 National Book Awards

Yoko Tawada was born in Tokyo in 1960, moved to Hamburg when she was twenty-two, and then to Berlin in 2006. She writes in both Japanese and German, and has published several books—stories, novels, poems, plays, essays—in both languages.
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The Emissary

ISBN 9780811227629 New Directions Publishing

Translated by Margaret Mitsutani Japan, after suffering from a massive irreparable disaster, cuts itself off from the world. Children are so weak they can barely stand or walk: the only people with any get-go are the elderly. More about this book >

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Margaret Mitsutani and Monique Truong (for Yoko Towada) read at the NBAs Finalists Reading


Monique Truong (on behalf of Yoko Tawada) and Margaret Mitsutani accept the 2018 National Book Award for Translated Literature

Full Bio

Yoko Tawada

Yoko Tawada was born in Tokyo in 1960, moved to Hamburg when she was twenty-two, and then to Berlin in 2006. She writes in both Japanese and German, and has published several books—stories, novels, poems, plays, essays—in both languages. She has received numerous awards for her writing including the Akutagawa Prize, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, the Tanizaki Prize, the Kleist Prize, and the Goethe Medal. New Directions publishes her story collections Where Europe Begins (with a Preface by Wim Wenders) and Facing the Bridge, as well her novels The Naked EyeThe Bridegroom Was a Dog, Memoirs of a Polar Bear, and The Emissary.

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