Writer blogs her way to top literary prize
By YURI KAGEYAMA
The Associated Press
Mieko Kawakami, a former bar hostess and bookstore clerk, was just another obscure singer until she started a blog. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20080325f1.html
Not news, I know, but I wanted to recognise her achievement. And also to note the following quotes from the same AP article:
Kawakami's readership has shot up from a handful of people when she started the blog in 2003, to about 10,000 a day, soaring to 200,000 on Jan. 16, the day she won the Akutagawa Award. She writes in frenzied, urgent prose that gurgles with furor....
Shintaro Ishihara, the right-leaning governor of Tokyo, who won the Akutagawa in 1955 and sits on the awards committee, has lashed out at Kawakami's selection....
"The egocentric, self-absorbed rambling of the work is unpleasant and intolerable," he wrote in the magazine Bungeishunju, which administers the Akutagawa.
Adding to the appeal, Kawakami's award-winning novella, "The Breast and the Egg," explores the ideas of divorce, the questioning of beauty standards and other themes of solitary womanhood that are still relatively new territory in Japanese literature. Kawakami's stories in some ways are those of Japan's Everywoman.Mieko Kawakami's blog can be found here (in Japanese): http://mieko.jp/