Lady Joker, Volume 1

(Author) (Translator)
& 1 more

Product Details

$28.95  $26.63
Soho Crime
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.3 X 1.8 inches | 1.8 pounds

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About the Author

Kaoru Takamura was born in Osaka in 1953 and is the author of thirteen novels. Her debut, Grab the Money and Run, won the 1990 Japan Mystery and Suspense Grand Prize, and since then her work has been recognized with many of Japan's most prestigious awards for literary fiction as well as for crime fiction: the Naoki Prize, the Noma Literary Award, the Yomiuri Prize, the Shinran Prize, the Jiro Osaragi Prize, the Mystery Writers of Japan Award, and the Japan Adventure Fiction Association Prize. Lady Joker, her first novel to be translated into English, received the Mainichi Arts Award and has been adapted into both a film and a television series.

Allison Markin Powell is a literary translator, editor, and publishing consultant. She has been awarded grants from English PEN and the NEA, and the 2020 PEN America Translation Prize for The Ten Loves of Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami. Her other translations include works by Osamu Dazai, Kanako Nishi, and Fuminori Nakamura. She was the guest editor for the first Japan issue of Words Without Borders, and she maintains the database Japanese Literature in English.

Marie Iida has served as an interpreter for the New York Times bestselling author Marie Kondo's Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Her nonfiction translations have appeared in Nang, MoMA Post, Eureka and over half a dozen monographs on contemporary Japanese artists and architects, including Yayoi Kusama, Toyo Ito, and Kenya Hara for Rizzoli New York. Marie currently writes a monthly column for Gentosha Plus about communicating in English as a native Japanese speaker.


Praise for Lady Joker

A novel that portrays with devastating immensity how those on the dark fringes of society can be consumed by the darkness of their own hearts.
--Yoko Ogawa, author of The Memory Police

Centered around an extortion case involving a beer company, Lady Joker would ordinarily be categorized in the crime or mystery novel genre, yet the book deserves to be called an exemplary literary work that depicts contemporary society . . . A magnum opus . . . It requires extraordinary skill to fully depict the ambivalence of Japanese society, in all its detail. Reading Lady Joker together with James Ellroy's American Tabloid and the drama behind the Kennedy assassination serves as an intriguing comparison. Viewing a society through the lens of a crime is like examining a disease or a corpse to get at the person: it exposes the foundations of human existence.
--Yomiuri Newspaper

Using the relationship between individuals and institutions as its axis, Lady Joker attempts to depict the contemporary era in its entirety. The effort is so reckless as to be almost quixotic, but with her formidable literary talents, Kaoru Takamura accomplishes her goal to a handsome degree . . . Lady Joker is a multilayered novel that allows for many interpretations, yet its structure places it firmly within the framework of a social-awareness mystery.
--Shosetsu Subaru Literary Magazine

A superb suspense novel with depth.
--Shukan Bunshun (The Literary Weekly)

Takamura's eye for detail and storytelling prowess are astonishing . . . It's possible to read Lady Joker in various ways--as a mystery novel, a police procedural, or a cautionary tale of corporate risk management. I read it as an exploration of the original sin of human existence . . . The depth of empathy readers will feel for this book's characters directly corresponds with the author's insight on the intersections of human existence.
--Ushio Magazine