Misumi Kubo

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Misumi Kubo
Native name
窪 美澄
Born1965 (age 53–54)
Inagi, Tokyo, Japan
OccupationWriter
LanguageJapanese
NationalityJapanese
Genre
Notable works
  • Fugainai boku wa sora o mita
  • Seiten no mayoikujira
  • Jitto te o miru
Notable awards

Misumi Kubo (窪 美澄, Kubo Misumi) is a Japanese writer. She has won the R-18 Literary Award, the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize, and the Yamada Fūtarō Prize, and she has twice been nominated for the Naoki Prize. Her work was adapted into the 2012 film The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky.

Early life and education[edit]

Kubo was born in 1965 in Inagi, a city in western Tokyo.[1] She attended Catholic schools through junior high and high school, then dropped out of junior college and worked part-time jobs before landing full-time work at an advertising company.[1][2] After the birth of her child she became a freelance nonfiction writer and editor focusing particularly on women's health and medicine.[1]

Career[edit]

In 2009 Kubo's short story "Mikumari" won the R-18 Literary Award, a prize for erotic short fiction by new women writers.[2] Her first book Fugainai boku wa sora o mita (ふがいない僕は空を見た), a sexually explicit set of stories about the relationship between a woman seeking fertility treatments and the teenage son of the woman who runs the clinic, was published by Shinchosha in 2010.[3] The next year Fugainai boku wa sora o mita won the 24th Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize.[4] It was later adapted into the 2012 Yuki Tanada film The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky, starring Tomoko Tabata and Kento Nagayama.[5]

Kubo's second book, Seiten no mayoikujira (晴天の迷いクジラ), a story about three people who travel to see a stranded whale, was published by Shinchosha in 2012.[6] Seiten no mayoikujira won the 3rd Yamada Futarō Prize, which is awarded by Kadokawa Shoten to works in the same artistic spirit as those of mystery writer Futaro Yamada.[7] Several books followed, including the linked story collection Yoru no fukurami (よるのふくらみ) in 2014,[8] the 2015 novel Sayonara niruvāna (さよなら、ニルヴァーナ, Goodbye, Nirvana), which dramatized an actual case of murder of a young girl by a teenage boy,[9] the 2016 speculative fiction novel Akagami (アカガミ), which imagined Japan in 2030 after rising youth suicide rates and declining fertility,[10] and the 2017 novel Yameru toki mo sukoyaka naru toki mo (やめるときも, すこやかなるときも).[11]

An English version of Kubo's early short story "Mikumari", translated by Polly Barton, was published in 2017 by Strangers Press. The next year Kubo's novel Jitto te o miru (じっと手を見る), a story about relationships among nursing caregivers, was published by Gentosha.[12] Jitto te o miru was nominated for the 159th Naoki Prize and led the voting among selection committee members in the first round, but the prize was awarded to Rio Shimamoto.[13] The following year her story Trinity (トリニティ, Toriniti) was nominated for the 161st Naoki Prize.[14]

Recognition[edit]

Selected works[edit]

In Japanese[edit]

  • Fugainai boku wa sora o mita (ふがいない僕は空を見た), Shinchosha, 2010, ISBN 9784103259213 (includes "Mikumari")
  • Seiten no mayoikujira (晴天の迷いクジラ, Stray Whale On a Clear Day), Shinchosha, 2012, ISBN 9784103259220
  • Yoru no fukurami (よるのふくらみ), Shinchosha, 2014, ISBN 9784103259244
  • Sayonara niruvāna (さよなら、ニルヴァーナ, Goodbye, Nirvana), Bungeishunjū, 2015, ISBN 9784163902562
  • Akagami (アカガミ), Kawade Shobō Shinsha, 2016, ISBN 9784309024608
  • Yameru toki mo sukoyaka naru toki mo (やめるときも, すこやかなるときも), Shueisha, 2017, ISBN 9784087710526
  • Jitto te o miru (じっと手を見る), Gentosha, 2018, ISBN 9784344032750

In English[edit]

  • "From the Left Bank of the Flu", trans. Polly Barton, Granta, 2017[17]
  • Mikumari, trans. Polly Barton, Strangers Press, 2017, ISBN 9781911343073

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 瀧井, 朝世 (July 27, 2011). "作家の読書道 第116回:窪美澄さん" [116th Writer's Reading Path: Misumi Kubo]. WEB本の雑誌 (in Japanese). Archived from the original on June 28, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Authors: Misumi Kubo". Books From Japan. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  3. ^ "Feckless Me with Eyes to the Sky: Synopsis". Books From Japan. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  4. ^ "三島由紀夫賞:今村夏子「こちらあみ子」太宰賞と2冠 山本周五郎賞は窪美澄「ふがいない僕は空を見た」". MANTAN Web (in Japanese). Mainichi Shimbun. May 17, 2011. Archived from the original on August 2, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  5. ^ "永山絢斗と田畑智子、大胆な性描写にも果敢に挑戦!『ふがいない僕は空を見た』映画化でダブル主演!". Cinema Today (in Japanese). December 10, 2011. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  6. ^ 中村, 真理子 (March 9, 2012). "窪美澄が新刊 「家族の愛情、適温はない」". Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "第三回 山田風太郎賞が決定" [The 3rd Yamada Fūtarō Prize Has Been Decided]. Kadokawa Shoten (in Japanese). October 25, 2012. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  8. ^ いしい, のりえ (June 2, 2014). "生活か、セックスか。結婚を控えた女のやるせない渇望を描く『よるのふくらみ』". Cyzo Woman (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  9. ^ 長薗, 安浩 (July 2, 2015). "さよなら、ニルヴァーナ 窪美澄著". AERAdot (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  10. ^ "The Red Letter Project: Synopsis". Books From Japan. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  11. ^ 北條, 一浩 (April 25, 2017). "著者インタビュー 窪美澄 『やめるときも、すこやかなるときも』". Mainichi Shimbun (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  12. ^ 朝井, リョウ (May 14, 2018). "『じっと手を見る』 窪美澄著". Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  13. ^ "選考委員・北方謙三さん「かなりの接戦、ぎりぎりの勝負だった」". Sankei Shimbun (in Japanese). July 18, 2018. Archived from the original on July 19, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  14. ^ "第161回芥川賞・直木賞の候補に古市憲寿さん、朝倉かすみさんら 直木賞は6人全員女性". Asahi Shimbun. June 17, 2019. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  15. ^ "女による女のためのR-18文学賞 | 受賞作品" [R-18 Literary Prize, for Women by Women | Winning Works] (in Japanese). Shinchosha. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  16. ^ "山本周五郎賞 過去の受賞作品" [Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize Past Winning Works] (in Japanese). Shinchosha. Archived from the original on October 3, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  17. ^ Kubo, Misumi (July 25, 2017). "From the Left Bank of the Flu". Granta. No. 138. Translated by Barton, Polly.