KENZABURO OE was born in 1935 in a village in Shikoku, an island off the southwest coast of mainland Japan. After studying French literature at Tokyo University, he won his first literary award—the coveted Akutagawa Prize—for a short story, "The Catch." A writer committed to both literary and humanitarian causes, his output has included (in English) A Personal Matter, The Silent Cry, Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness, The Pinch Runner Memorandum, and Nip the Buds, Kill the Kids. These and other works of his have been widely translated, not only in Europe and Russia but in several Asian countries.
Oe, who won the Nobel Prize in 1994, lives in Tokyo with his wife and three children.