CHIYA FUJINO, author of Her Room, was born in 1962. Her debut novel Afternoon Timetable was published in 1995, the first in a string of prizewinners. Fujino is a transsexual, but her stories do not particularly focus on gay or gender issues. Instead, she prefers to portray characters who are slightly out of step with society, and to hint at what may lurk behind the ordinary facade of everyday life. In 2000 she won the Akutagawa Prize for Summer's Promise, the tale of a group of friends in their twenties, centered around a gay couple and the transsexual next door.
An interview with the author
Q: What is it about current society (Japanese, American, etc.) that makes it so difficult to be a woman today? In your opinion, is there one thing or many things that come into play? Is it a generational thing? Are men having the same problems?
A: Although values are changing, old-fashioned expectations linger on. Many people seem to think that women can be treated as inferior.