Readerz.Net / Kikuko Tsumura
Kikuko Tsumura (津村記久子, Tsumura Kikuko) is a Japanese writer from Osaka. She has won numerous Japanese literary awards, including the Akutagawa Prize, the Noma Literary New Face Prize, the Dazai Osamu Prize, the Kawabata Yasunari Prize, and the Oda Sakunosuke Prize.
Tsumura was born in Osaka, Japan in 1978. While commuting to school she read science fiction novels, especially the work of William Gibson, Philip K. Dick, and Kurt Vonnegut, and began writing her own novel, Man'ītā (Maneater), while still a third-year university student. Man'ītā won the 21st Dazai Osamu Prize and was later published in book form under the title Kimi wa eien ni soitsura yori wakai.
In her first job out of college, Tsumura experienced workplace harassment and quit after ten months to retrain and find another position, an experience that inspired her to write stories about young workers. In 2008 Tsumura won the Noma Literary New Face Prize for her book Myūjikku buresu yū!! (Music Bless You!!). That same year her novel Potosu raimu no fune (The Lime Pothos Boat), about a young woman experiencing precarious work, won the 140th Akutagawa Prize. Japanese literature scholar Kendall Heitzman described The Lime Pothos Boat as a "triumph" that "carefully depicts with great nuance a small cast of characters with competing interests and desires." Tsumura's book Wākāzu daijesuto (Workers' Digest), published in 2011, won the 28th Oda Sakunosuke Prize, and in 2013 her short story "Kyūsuitō to kame" ("The Water Tower and the Turtle") won the 39th Kawabata Yasunari Prize. The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology recognized Tsumura's work with a New Artist award in 2016.
Tsumura's writing often employs Osaka-ben, a distinctive Japanese dialect spoken in Osaka and surrounding cities.