Yōko Ogawa

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Yōko Ogawa (born March 30, 1962) is a Japanese writer.


  • …But now that my son has grown, I feel like I was at my happiest when I was writing while raising my child…Now that I can write as much as I want 24 hours a day, it’s not as if I produce any greater work now than I did in the past.
  • Every human being has something violent inside, but most of us try to hide it. In the same way, we try to ignore the dangers that lurk in everyday experience, to skirt them and pass by. But, at the same time, we’re all fascinated by these “unseen” things, and that fascination becomes a motivating force in my work…
    • On the hidden nature of people in New Yorker (December 2005)
  • Contemporary Japanese society appears to be safe and comfortable, but I wanted to write about the shapeless violence and danger that lurk beneath the surface. Somehow I hit on agricultural chemicals in grapefruit as a symbol. Turning them into jam seemed to make them even more sinister. I suppose I could have used any fruit, but grapefruit has a cheerful, sunny image and I thought the irony would heighten the effect.
    • On her story “The Pregnancy Diary” in New Yorker (December 2005)

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