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Yūko Tsushima

Yūko Tsushima (津島佑子; 1947–2016) began publishing novels, short stories, and essays in the early 1970s. The daughter of one of the foremost fiction writers of twentieth-century Japan, Dazai Osamu, who committed suicide when she was very young, Tsushima has won several literary awards. Her works often portray female protagonists who challenge normative women’s roles, and in line with her fictional characters’ desire to break out of assigned gender roles, Tsushima has said that she finds the category joryū bungaku (woman writer) problematic because it constrains fiction written by women to a specific literary tradition. “Kid sister” (Imōto) was included in the short story collection entitled Watashi (I) from 1999. However, its characteristic style of presenting dialogue without quotation marks was already seen in “Kitsune o haramu” (Conceiving a Fox) from 1972. Her books in English include Child of Fortune (1983; Chōji, 1978); The Shooting Gallery and Other Stories (1988; selected stories, 1973–84); and Woman Running in the Mountains (1991; Yama o hashiru onna, 1980).

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