Michael Pronko

Biography

Michael Pronko is an award-winning, Tokyo-based writer of murder, memoir and music. His writings on Tokyo life and his taut character-driven mysteries have won critics’ awards and five-star reviews. Kirkus Reviews called his second novel, The Moving Blade, “An elegant balance of Japanese customs with American-style hard-boiled procedural” and selected it for their Best Books of 2018.

Michael also runs the website, Jazz in Japan, about the vibrant jazz scene in Tokyo and Yokohama. He has written regular columns about Japanese culture, art, jazz, society and politics for Newsweek Japan, The Japan Times, Artscape Japan, Jazznin, and ST Shukan. He has also appeared on NHK and Nippon Television.

A philosophy major, Michael traveled for years, ducking in and out of graduate schools, before finishing his PhD on Charles Dickens and film, and settling in Tokyo as a professor of American Literature at Meiji Gakuin University. He teaches contemporary American novels, film adaptations, music and art.

Where to find Michael Pronko online


Books

The Moving Blade
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 89,940. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime
When the top American diplomat in Tokyo is killed, he leaves more than a lifetime of Japan-American negotiations. He leaves a missing manuscript, a lost keynote speech and an estranged daughter. Detective Hiroshi Shimizu searches for the killer from Tokyo’s back alley bars to government offices, anti-nuke protests and an American military base in this Tokyo-based mystery/thriller.
The Last Train
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 86,930. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
In this Tokyo thriller, Detective Hiroshi Shimizu, a specialist in what collar crime, is pulled out to the scene of grisly murder--a murder by train. Hiroshi teams up with ex-sumo wrestler Sakaguchi to scour Tokyo’s hostess clubs, sacred temples, and skyscraper offices to find an elusive killer before she extracts her final revenge—which just might be him.
Motions and Moments: More Essays on Tokyo
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 50,520. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Essays & Travelogues, Nonfiction » Travel » By region
Motions and Moments is the third book by Michael Pronko on the fluid feel and vibrant confusions of Tokyo life. These 42 new essays burrow into the unique intensities that suffuse the city and ponder what they mean to its millions of inhabitants.
Tokyo's Mystery Deepens
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 44,010. Language: English. Published: December 13, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Essays & Travelogues, Nonfiction » Travel » By region
Longtime resident, writer and professor Michael Pronko shows just why Tokyo life is equal parts trial and joy. Pronko examines Tokyo as a city, a culture and an overpowering experience. Tokyo’s Mystery Deepens taps the enigmatic sides of Tokyo with humor, delicacy and a large dose of healthy confusion. Tokyo’s Mystery Deepens are drawn from Pronko’s popular monthly column in Newsweek Japan.
Beauty and Chaos Essays on Tokyo
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 45,070. Language: English. Published: November 7, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Essays & Travelogues, Nonfiction » Travel » By region
Tokyo--City of Contradictions? Yes and no! The largest city in the world teems with chaotic energy and serene, human-scale beauty. Want to know the real city? Writing about Tokyo for over 15 years, essayist and professor Michael Pronko opens up Tokyo life and reveals what’s beneath the gleaming, puzzling exterior of the biggest city in the world.

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