Yoko Tawada was born in Tokyo in 1960 and was educated at Waseda University and the University of Hamburg. She made her debut as a writer with Missing Heels, which was awarded the Gunzo Prize for new writers in 1991. In 1993, she received the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for The Bridegroom Was a Dog (which was translated by Margaret Mitsutani and published in English in 2003). She writes in both Japanese and German, and in 1996, she won the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, a German award granted to foreign writers for their contribution to German culture. Where Europe Begins, a collection of stories translated from both languages by Yumi Selden and Susan Bernofsky, was published by New Directions in 2002.