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|Birth:||24th July, 1964|
Banana Yoshimoto was born in Tokyo. She is the pen name of Japanese writer Mahoko Yoshimoto. She writes her name in hiragana. She graduated from Nihon University's Art College, majoring in literature. Yoshimoto began her writing career while working as a waitress at a golf-club restaurant in 1987. Her debut novel, Kitchen, was an instant success, with over sixty printings in Japan alone. Another one of her novels, Goodbye Tsugumi, was also made into a movie in 1990, directed by Jun Ichikawa. The novel received mixed reviews. Her works include 12 novels and seven collections of essays which have together sold over six million copies worldwide. Yoshimoto was awarded the 39th edition Best Newcomer Artists Recommended Prize by the Minister of Education in August 1988 for Kitchen and Utakata/Sankuchuari. In March 1989, Goodbye Tsugumi was awarded the 2nd Yamamoto Shugoro Prize. In 1994 her first long novel, Amrita, was awarded the Murasaki-shikibu Prize.
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