She was born in Japan in 1949. After graduating high school, she moved to Tokyo, where she worked as a bar hostess. She appeared in a few “pink films”—an arty subgenre of sexploitation cinema—directed by Kōji Wakamatsu, among others, and posed for the erotic art photographer Nobuyoshi Araki before devoting herself to writing full time. In 1973, she married the free jazz saxophonist Kaoru Abe, with whom she had a daughter; Abe died of a drug overdose in 1978, one year after their divorce. She was extremely productive in the years after his death, writing short stories, novels, and essays. She took her own life in 1986 at the age of 36.
This is, by and large, the sum total of biographical information readily available to English-language readers on the subject of Izumi Suzuki, a pioneering writer of science fiction whose first collection of stories to appear in English, Terminal Boredom, is available now from Verso. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is much more information available in English about the male artists with whom she lived and worked; her own life tends to be talked about in relation to theirs, when it is talked about at all. With the publication of Terminal Boredom, English-language readers will be able to discover Suzuki in her own right. So who was she, anyway, and what of the work she left behind?