Yoko Tawada

© Florian Thoss

Yoko Tawada was born in Tokyo in 1960 and grew up there. She has never left the Japanese language, its characters and its way of thinking, although she has lived in Germany for 37 years and has written as many books in German as in Japanese. Her texts cross the boundaries between the genres of narrative, essay, play or poetry. When she received the Kleist Prize in 2016, it was a great joy for her, as Heinrich von Kleist is Tawada's favorite author, along with Paul Celan and Franz Kafka. Her most recent novel is Sendbo-o-te (The Emissary), in which the present is presented as the future. For this novel, Tawada was awarded the National Book Award in the USA.