Chikako Ozawa-de Silva graduated from Sophia University in Tokyo before heading to Oxford University for a PhD in social and cultural anthropology. Research fellowships took her to Harvard and the University of Chicago before she joined Emory in 2003.
Her research focuses on the impacts of culture on well-being, including how people experience and respond to suffering. Ozawa-de Silva’s most recent book is titled “The Anatomy of Loneliness: Suicide, Social Connection, and the Search for Relational Meaning in Contemporary Japan.”
Published by the University of California Press, the book won the Society for East Asian Anthropology’s 2022 Francis Hsu Book Prize. The prize committee called the work “poignant, richly ethnographic and an exemplary instance of a book that really speaks beyond our field…Ozawa-de Silva writes about suicide and loneliness in Japan in ways that speak to wider global trends while giving us some hint at potentially better ways to live.”
“The Anatomy of Loneliness” also received the 2022 Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing honorable mention, presented by the Society for Humanistic Anthropology. “This book is a jarring, empathic, and even paradoxical diagnosis of emerging collective social structures that make people feel alone,” the prize committee wrote. “Along the way, readers are introduced to a brave and novel vision for what an inclusive society might mean.”
Read the full interview here.