Japanese author, an alumnus of Waseda University
and the University of Hamburg
, who moved to Hamburg
in 1982 and has lived there ever since. She writes in both German and Japanese, and (oddly enough) started a literary career in Germany before Japan had even heard of her, with Nur da wo du bist, da ist nichts
in 1987. Her first Japanese release was Sannin Kankei
in 1992, but her next story, in 1993, would turn out to be her biggest sensation in the literary world. Inu Muko Iri
, translated as The Bridegroom Was A Dog
, won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize
and made Tawada famous in her homeland. In 1998, she received the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize
for her German novels, which include Das Bad
, Ein Gast
, and Wie der Wind im Ei
Tawada likes to write in both languages: even though she openly admits that her Japanese is much better than her German, she says she prefers the challenge of writing in the latter. She derives many of her stories' elements from Japanese and European folk tales, weaving them into modern contexts.
After winning the Chamisso, she became a writer-in-residence at MIT's German department, but has since moved back to Hamburg. She is a staff writer for Suitcase: A Journal of Transcultural Traffic, and her next book to be translated into English, Where Europe Begins (originally Wo Europa anfängt), is coming out in late 2002.