Keiichiro Hirano wrote his first novel when he was only seventeen. After that, his writing career took off with incredible speed, and his historical novel Nisshoku (The Eclipse), set in medieval France, won him the Akutagawa Prize in 1999. Hirano may have been the youngest-ever winner at only 23 years of age, but his use of elegant, classical language and profoundknowledge of European history had critics lauding him as the next Yukio Mishima. Hirano followed Nisshoku’s success with Ichigetsu monogatari (Tale of the First Moon) and Soso (Farewell to the Departed), set in late 19th century France and early 20th century Japan,respectively. 2003, however, marked a turning point, wherein Hirano began writing shorter stories about contemporary society and a range of themes pertaining to it, such as war, family, death, modernization, and technology. Starting in 2004, Hirano spent a year in Paris as a cultural envoy appointed by Japan’s Ministry of Cultural Affairs. During this time, he travelled all over Europe giving lectures. After his return to Japan, he wrote a number of essays, but by 2008 his love of fiction had him returning to fulllength novels. The 2008 murder mystery Kekkai (Dam Break), and 2009 science fiction novel Dawn both received rave reviews, as did his Katachi Dake no Ai (Artificial Love) in 2010. Currently Hirano is writing a novel that is being serialized in the manga magazine Morning, entitled Kuhaku wo Mitashinasai (Fill the Void). Since 2008 Hirano has been a judge for the Yukio Mishima Literary Prize and the Higashikawa Photo Prize. Through translation, his novels have come to be widely read in France, Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Sweden, and Egypt.
・ 120th Akutagawa Prize for Nisshoku (1998)
・ 59th Education, Science and Technology Ministers Art Encouragement Prize for New Writers for Kekkai (2008)
・ 19th Prix Deux Magots Bunkamura for Dawn (2009)