The Bookseller – News – Hayakawa wins LBF Lifetime Achievement Award

Hiroshi Hayakawa, president of Hayakawa Publishing, is the winner of this year’s London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades-long work in bringing international authors to the Japanese market, as well as his championing of science fiction, crime and non-fiction titles in Japan.

the award recognizes an individual who has made a truly significant mark in the sphere of global publishing. It is open to publishers, agents, editors, scouts and anyone else involved in international publishing from any country in the world. Previous winners include Margaret Busby and Nigel Newton.

The committee selected Hayakawa, who has worked at the independent family publisher since 1965, from a shortlist of leading international publishing figures.

Early in his career, as vice-president of the company, Hayakawa managed foreign rights and acquired a number of modern classics including The Godfather, Jaws, Flowers for Algernon and Early Autumn. As president he brought a number of seminal titles to the Japanese market including A Brief History of Time, Jurassic Park, Thinking Fast and Slow and The Remains of the Day.

Over his 30 years as president, he has maintained Hayakawa Publishing’s prestigious literary fiction lists, while also being a vocal advocate for science fiction, mysteries and non-fiction titles. His dedication of him to crime fiction earned him the Mystery Writers of America’s Ellery Queen Award in 1998.

He said he was surprised and honored to have won the award. “My selection for such a prestigious award is very humbling, especially when I look at the all-star list of prior recipients,” he said.

“This honor is not mine alone—it belongs to all the members of Hayakawa Publishing who have supported me all these years. I look forward to being able to visit London before too long.”

Andy Ventris, director at the London Book Fair, said: We are delighted to name Hiroshi Hayakawa as the recipient of this year’s London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award, joining the illustrious alumni who have won this award since its inception nearly 20 years ago.

“For decades, Hiroshi has been a cornerstone of international publishing, bringing stories and voices from around the world to Japanese readers. His passion for the written word, and his championing of genre titles in particular, has changed the literary landscape of Japan and helped build the prestige of many of the most celebrated authors of our day.”

David Roche, non-executive chairman, added: The London Book Fair International Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has made a truly significant mark in the sphere of global publishing and has been awarded a stellar list of winners since its inception. I am proud to chair the 2022 judging panel who have selected Hiroshi Hayakawa. Hiroshi stands proudly as a conductor, masterfully directing access to the complex Japanese market for the greatest international authors. He has facilitated stories from around the world in his 57 years at Hayakawa Publishing and 30 years as its president and we are delighted to honor him.”

Agents and scouts also hailed Hayakawa as a “worthy recipient.” Sam Edenborough, director at Greyhound Literary, said: “I am so happy to see Hiroshi Hayakawa’s immense achievements recognized in this way. His career of him is an inspiring one and I am sure that his many publishing friends and admirers around the world will be as delighted by him winning this award as I am. ”

Isobel Dixon, managing director and head of books at Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, said: “It’s a pleasure to see the LBF Lifetime Achievement Award go to Hiroshi Hayakawa this year, celebrating his pivotal role in bringing a great breadth of important translated fiction and non -fiction to Japanese readers over many decades.

“An independent publisher of long standing, willing to take risks with new voices from around the world, across a wide range of genres, his commitment to excellent writing and to publishing with excellence is admirable. His advocacy of him for the sheer pleasure of reading and enthusiasm for making great stories more widely accessible—from crime and science fiction through to literary prize winners and non-fiction—is inspiring. I’m glad to see London Book Fair celebrating that dedication to cultural exchange through consistent, quality publishing with the Lifetime Achievement Award now.”

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