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Lyons received her Ph.D. from University of Chicago. She teaches a three-quarter introduction to Japanese culture through its literature, from the eighth century to the present; and single-quarter courses on such topics as women in Japanese literature in the Comparative Literary Studies Program. She also teaches reading courses in Japanese at advanced levels.
Lyons' area of specialization is modern Japanese fiction; she has published a study of the novelist Dazai Osamu (1909-1948), and is currently working on the novelist Tanizaki Jun'ichirù (1886-1965).
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