Hiromi Kawakami is a novelist, haiku poet, literary critic and essayist. Her books include Manazuru, Pasuta mashiin y?rei (Pasta Machine Ghosts) and Sensei no kaban (The Briefcase), published as Strange Weather in Tokyo by Portobello Books in the UK. She was awarded the 1996 Akutagawa Prize for Hebi o fumu (Tread on a Snake).
Here, she talks to Granta Books editor Anne Meadows on her essay for Granta 127: Japan, the presence of death in her work and the influence of Gabriel García Márquez, with interpretation by Asa Yoneda.
‘I never really thought about death or mortality, but coming to terms with this diagnosis, or the probability of this diagnosis, I realized that, medically speaking, death can always be thought of not as a certainty, but as a probability. Looking back, I never was aware of feeling that close to death, but actually if you think about it, just living every day there is a very small but definitely existing chance of death, whatever you’re doing, wherever you are.’?
Image courtesy of Ryoko Uyama