Hiromi Kawakami was born in 1959 in Tokyo. She made her debut with the short story ‘God Bless You’ in 1994, which received the Bunkamura Prix des Deux Magots and the Murasakishikibu Literature Award. Hebi wo fumu (Tread on a Snake) won the Akutagawa Prize in 1996 and Oboreru (Drowning) won both the Itō Sei Literature Award and Joryū Bungaku Shō (Woman Writers’ Prize) in 2000. Her following novel Sensei no kaban won the Tanizaki Junichiro Award and has been translated to English by Allison Markin Powell and is published in 2012 by Counterpoint as The Briefcase. Michael Emmerich’s translation of Manazuru was published by Counterpoint in 2010.