Author: Kaoru Takamura
About the Book:
Tokyo, 1995. Five men meet at the racetrack every Sunday to bet on horses. They have little in common except a deep disaffection with their lives, but together they represent the social struggles and griefs of post-War Japan: a poorly socialized genius stuck working as a welder; a demoted detective with a chip on his shoulder; a Zainichi Korean banker sick of being ostracized for his ethnicity; a struggling single dad of a teenage girl with Down's syndrome. The fifth man bringing them all together is an elderly drugstore owner grieving his grandson, who has died in suspicious circumstances.
Intent on revenge against a society that values corporate behemoths more than human life, the five conspirators decide to carry out a heist: kidnap the CEO of Japan's largest beer conglomerate and extract blood money from the company's corrupt financiers.
Inspired by the unsolved true-crime kidnapping case perpetrated by "the Monster with 21 Faces," Lady Joker has become a cultural touchstone since its 1997 publication, acknowledged as the magnum opus by one of Japan's literary masters, twice adapted for film and TV and often taught in high school and college classrooms.
About the Author:
Kaoru Takamura was born in Osaka in 1953 and is the author of thirteen novels. Her debut, Grab the Money and Run, won the 1990 Japan Mystery and Suspense Grand Prize, and since then her work has been recognized with many of Japan's most prestigious awards for literary fiction as well as for crime fiction: the Naoki Prize, the Noma Literary Award, the Yomiuri Prize, the Shinran Prize, the Jiro Osaragi Prize, the Mystery Writers of Japan Award, and the Japan Adventure Fiction Association Prize. Lady Joker, her first novel to be translated into English, received the Mainichi Arts Award and has been adapted into both a film and a television series.