Yamada, Amy 1959-

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Yamada, Amy 1959-

(Futaba Yamada)

PERSONAL:

Born 1959, in Tokyo, Japan.

CAREER:

Writer.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Bungei Prize, 1985, for Beddotaimu aizu; Naoki Prize, 1987, for Soru myujikku rabazu onri; Jyoryu Bungaku Prize, 1991, for Torasshu; Tanizaki Prize, 2005, for Fumizekka.

WRITINGS:

Torasshu, 1991, translation by Sonya Johnson published as Trash, Kodansha International (New York, NY), 1994.

Bedtime Eyes (contains novellas Bedtime Eyes, The Piano Player's Eyes, and Jesse), translation by Yumi Gunji and Marc Jardine, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Also author of Beddotaimu aizu (title means "Bedtime Eyes"), 1985; Jeshi no sebone (title means "Jesse's Spine"), 1987; Soru myujikku rabazu onri (title means "Soul Music Lovers Only"), 1987; Fuso no kyoshitsu, 1988; Hizamazuite ashi wo o-name (title means "Kneel Down and Lick My Feet"), 1988; Hokago no onpu (title means "Afterschool Music"), 1989; Boku wa benkyo ga dekinai (title means "I Can't Study"), 1993; 120% Coool, 1994; Animaru Rojikku (title means "Animal Logic"), 1996; 4U, 1997; Magnet, 1999; A2Z, 2003; Payday, 2003; and Fumizekka (title means "Wonderful Flavor"), 2005. Contributor to anthologies, including Monkey Brain Sushi, and Inside and Other Short Stories: Japanese Women by Japanese Women, Kodansha International (New York, NY), 2006.

ADAPTATIONS:

The novella Bedtime Eyes was adapted for film.

SIDELIGHTS:

Japanese writer Amy Yamada is known for her stories in which sex is a significant component. Her protagonists tend to be sex workers, dominatrixes, and Japanese women in relationships with black men.

Bedtime Eyes is a translation of three Yamada novellas, each of which features a destructive relationship. In the title story, Kim, an exotic dancer, enters into a rough-sex relationship with a black Navy deserter, nicknamed "Spoon" for the one he carries in his pocket. Abuse is also part of the story in The Piano Player's Fingers, in which Ruiko becomes involved with jazz pianist Leroy. In Jesse, a young woman tries to win the affection of the half-Japanese son of a divorced American man she is seeing. Library Journal contributor Ronald Samul described the trio of stories as being "sexually charged and disturbing." A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that Yamada "illustrates how cultural and racial difference amplify 'the extraordinary power of sexual curiosity.'"

Yamada's novel Trash is set in New York, where Koko, a young Japanese woman, falls in love with Rick, an alcoholic. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that, in this novel, Yamada "displays a bittersweet sentimentality encased in a minimalist narrative."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2006, review of Bedtime Eyes, p. 16.

Library Journal, February 15, 2006, Ronald Samul, review of Bedtime Eyes, p. 112.

Publishers Weekly, November 7, 1994, review of Trash, p. 64; December 5, 2005, review of Bedtime Eyes, p. 30.

ONLINE

Everything2.com,http://www.everything2.com/ (December 15, 2001), biography of Yamada.

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