Katie Kitamura

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Alma materPrinceton University, London Consortium
Notable worksThe Longshot
SpouseHari Kunzru

Katie Kitamura is an American novelist, journalist, and art critic. She is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the London Consortium.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Katie Kitamura was born in California in 1979 to a family of Japanese origin,[3] and raised in California.[2][4]

Kitamura graduated from Princeton University in New Jersey in 1999. She earned a PhD in American literature from the London Consortium.[5] Her thesis was titled The Aesthetics of Vulgarity and the Modern American Novel (2005).[6]

Earlier in her life, Kitamura trained as a ballerina.[7][8]



Kitamura wrote Japanese for Travellers – A Journey, describing her travels across Japan and examining the dichotomies of its society and her own place in it as a Japanese-American.[9]


Kitamura was introduced to mixed martial arts in Japan by her brother.[10] Her first novel, The Longshot, published in 2009, is about the preparation undertaken by a fighter and his trainer ahead of a championship bout against a famous opponent. The cover art of the US edition of her book features the title tattooed on knuckles; the knuckles are her brother's.[7] Kitamura's second novel, Gone to the Forest, published in 2013, is set in an unnamed colonial country and describes the life and suffering of a landowning family against a backdrop of civil strife and political change.[11]

Film adaptation[edit]

Kitamura's novel A Separation will be adapted for a film starring Katherine Waterston.[12]


Kitamura writes for The Guardian, The New York Times, and Wired.[2] She has written articles on mixed martial arts,[13] film criticism and analysis,[14] and art.[15][16]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2010, Kitamura's The Longshot was shortlisted for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award.[17]

Selected bibliography[edit]


  • Japanese for Travellers: A Journey. Hamish Hamilton. 2006. ISBN 978-0-241-14289-9.
  • The Longshot: A Novel. Free Press. August 11, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4391-1760-6.
  • Gone to the Forest. Profile Books. February 14, 2013. ISBN 978-1-84765-907-1.
  • A Separation. Penguin Random House. February 7, 2017. ISBN 978-0-3995-7612-6.


Personal life[edit]

Kitamura is married to author Hari Kunzru.[20]


  1. ^ Kunzru-Kitamura children
  2. ^ a b c "Katie Kitamura". Conville & Walsh literary agency. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  3. ^ Philip Womack (January 11, 2013). "Five young novelists for 2013". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  4. ^ http://readers.penguin.co.uk/nf/shared/WebDisplay/0,,214880_11_1,00.html
  5. ^ Samantha Kuok Leese (August 10, 2012). "Katie Kitamura interview". Spectator. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  6. ^ "PhD Titles". The London Consortium. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Will Doig (August 19, 2009). "How to Fight Like a Girl". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  8. ^ "Katie Kitamura interviews at Simon & Schuster". Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  9. ^ Sophie Campbell (August 30, 2006). "Japan through American eyes". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  10. ^ Katherine Federici Greenwood (November 18, 2009). "In the ring". Princeton Alumni Weekly. 111 (5). Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  11. ^ Sarah Hall (February 6, 2013). "Gone to the Forest by Katie Kitamura – review". The Guardian. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  12. ^ Hipes, Patrick (February 1, 2017). "Katherine Waterston To Star In Movie Adaptation Of Upcoming Novel 'A Separation'". Deadline. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  13. ^ Katie Kitamura (April 29, 2006). "The harder they come". The Guardian. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  14. ^ Katie Kitamura (June 15, 2012). "With Grain: A Q&A with Apichatpong Weerasethakul". Asian American Writers' Workshop. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  15. ^ Katie Kitamura (January 19, 2009). "Little London Prop Shop Turns Ideas Into Art". Wired. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  16. ^ Katie Kitamura (August 2008). "Liam Gillick". Frieze Magazine (114). Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  17. ^ "Provocateurs, Mind Bogglers, and Tragedians: Five Young Literary Talents Chosen as Finalists for The New York Public Library's 2010 Young Lions Fiction Award" (Press release). New York Public Library. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  18. ^ "Articles by Katie Kitamura". Frieze Magazine. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  19. ^ "Contemporary magazine". Contemporary Magazine. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  20. ^ Jonathan Lee (September 3, 2013). "Bare-Knuckle Writing". Guernica. Retrieved December 8, 2013.