Female Author Recs

I am particularly looking for recs for modern mysteries. (i.e. works that have been published in the past 20 or so years) but any genre or period goes. :smiling_face:


Not mystery, but Sayaka Murata and Mieko Kawakami do contemporary stories. Sayaka Murata is probably my favorite author. She does a lot of weird stories, haha.


I don’t know if it counts as mystery, but I liked the style of この本を盗む者は by 深緑 野分 and it seems that she usually writes mystery novels (according to wikipedia).

Other than that (that is, not mysteries), I plan to read more from 林 真理子, but be warned that her stuff is pretty spicy :hot_face: apparently (the one book I read, 不機嫌な果実, sure was).
I also liked 神様 by 川上 弘美 and I will read more from her too.


Looking through the works of the recs here, I came across an (erotic?) short story (etc.) collection currently available on Kindle Unlimited. Thought this might be interesting for others as well. :slight_smile:



I haven’t read her works more recent than 30ish years ago, but 宮部みゆき is prolific and her works often involve Japanese societal issues as the driving force in the mystery.

奥田陸 wrote ユージニア which I recently read as part of a book club over on WK. It was quite good and she also has other mysteries which I’m interested in reading.

太田愛 has written some books I want to read but haven’t had a chance to yet. 犯罪者 may have been sitting on my bookshelf for over a year now… :see_no_evil:


I highly recommend ユージニア by Riku Onda, although for full disclosure I have only read the English translation :grin: thinking about the mysteries I have read, it’s mostly male authors. I read one book by Shion Miura, again in English, and she really impressed me so I would recommend her! Not necessarily a mystery writer but she’s good and also modern.
On a side note, I was surprised last year when I was totalling up my books read and broke it down by gender. I have never lived in Japan, so short of a name ending in 子 I am never that confident of the gender. It turned out a couple of sweet coming of age books with female narrators were written by men which gave me a surprise lol.


Let me check my library. For mysteries, I’ve read and liked 桐野 夏生 (in English only so far), 恩田 陸, 湊 かなえ.
In general fiction I’ve read and liked 村田 沙耶香, 小山田 浩子, 吉本 ばなな, 高瀬 隼子, 三浦 しをん (in English only so far) and 小川 洋子 (in English only so far). There may be more that I don’t remember right now.


Stupid question, but how do I know if a book or manga is written by a man or woman?

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You kind of just get used to the gendering of Japanese first names. Not many female 健太郎s and not many male 由美子s. That said, some people have ambiguous names and some purposefully chose pen names which do not have obvious gendering.


Plus some books have author photos on the inside-cover flaps, and there’s always the internet to cross-check when in doubt.

I’m definitely less aware of the gender of the authors of stuff I’m reading in Japanese than I am in English, though.


I tend to google the author if I want to know for sure, there’s usually a picture somewhere. I’m not familiar with Japanese names so although I can sometimes guess, I’ve been mistaken plenty of times!


I hope I’m not hijacking the thread too much.

I find that manga almost never have any information on the author. MyAnimelist typically doesn’t have the gender on the author page, either.

Example: Hiromi Takashima - MyAnimeList.net doesn’t provide gender. The avatar looks androgynous. I can’t find anything on the authors homepage. Wikipedia says hiromi can be given to boys or girls. 高嶋ひろみ - Wikipedia gives the blood type, but not the gender.

I personally think the authors gender shouldn’t matter. But I’d still like to know. And I’d like to read a Yuri light novel written by a woman.


Sometimes I can find it on their twitter, whether its in their profile or in their posts somewhere etc. While I do mainly read in jp nowadays, I do follow a ton of English yuri news accounts on twitter and sometimes they’ll do interviews with the author and you can find out their gender based on the pronouns used in the interview. Its how I found out the Flowers writer is a girl.

Sometimes when a visual novel, manga, etc gets localized, on the page it might mention the author and use “he” or “her” etc and I assume since they’re localizing the product they’d know the correct gender.


Yeah, where the author is deliberately staying anonymous it can be tricky to figure out. In this specific case, Erica Friedman has met 高嶋ひろみ in person and uses ‘her’ to refer to her in the introduction to this interview.