Perhaps no other female Japanese writer has traversed the personal and the political so successfully in her work as Yuko Tsushima (1947-2016).

The prolific author burst onto the literary scene in 1967 with her first short story, "A Birth," while still a university student. Initially, Tsushima garnered media attention as the daughter of famed writer Osamu Dazai (1909-48), but she quickly forged her own independent literary identity and eventually won most of Japan's top literary accolades, including the Noma Literary Prize, the Yomiuri Prize for Literature and the Tanizaki Prize.

Early on, Tsushima broke the boundaries of the traditional Japanese I-novel genre, giving voice to a voiceless minority by authentically depicting the struggles of single mothers in society as a single mother herself. Tsushima was lauded both at home and in the West as a feminist writer for these early works.