10 Contemporary Japanese Writers You Should Know

Banana Yoshimoto

Banana Yoshimoto chose her first name in college, proclaiming her love of banana flowers because they are “rather cute and androgynous.” She is the daughter of Takaaki Yoshimoto, the venerable critic, intellectual, and father of the New Left movement in Japan. In 1988, she wrote Kitchen, her most well-known novel, which was translated into English in 1993. Her latest book, The Lake, also involves a young woman in mourning and how she is transformed by love. Yoshimoto is already known as the poster child for Gen X Japan, but The Lake shows her a little bit more grown up, though always wandering.