Kanako Nishi was born in Tehran in 1977, and grew up in Cairo and Osaka. She made her debut as a writer in 2004 with Aoi (Blue). In 2007, her novel Tsutenkaku (Tower to Heaven) won the Sakunosuke Oda Prize. In 2012 she received the first Hayao Kawai Prize for her novel Fukuwarai (Funny Face). Her masterpiece, Saraba! won the prestigious Naoki prize in 2015. She lives in Tokyo.