Breasts and Eggs
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Breasts and Eggs

3.88 (2,905 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by  , Translated by 

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Description

'Promises to be one of the most talked-about novels of the year.' - Financial Times
'Breathtaking' - Haruki Murakami, author of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

On a hot summer's day in a poor suburb of Tokyo we meet three women: thirty-year-old Natsu, her older sister Makiko, and Makiko's teenage daughter Midoriko. Makiko, an ageing hostess despairing the loss of her looks, has travelled to Tokyo in search of breast enhancement surgery. She's accompanied by Midoriko, who has recently stopped speaking, finding herself unable to deal with her own changing body and her mother's self-obsession. Her silence dominates Natsu's rundown apartment, providing a catalyst for each woman to grapple with their own anxieties and their relationships with one another.

Eight years later, we meet Natsu again. She is now a writer and find herself on a journey back to her native city, returning to memories of that summer and her family's past as she faces her own uncertain future.

In Breasts and Eggs Mieko Kawakami paints a radical and intimate portrait of contemporary working class womanhood in Japan, recounting the heartbreaking journeys of three women in a society where the odds are stacked against them. This is an unforgettable full length English language debut from a major new international talent.

'Radical' - Katie Kitamura, author of A Separation
'Uncommon precision' - Yoko Ogawa, author of The Memory Police
'Bold, modern and surprising' - An Yu, author of Braised Pork
'Incredible and propulsive' - Naoise Dolan, author of Exciting Times
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 137 x 215 x 35mm | 440g
  • PICADOR
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main Market Ed.
  • 1509898204
  • 9781509898206
  • 1,724

Review Text

I can never forget the sense of pure astonishment I felt when I first read Mieko Kawakami's novella Breasts and Eggs . . . breathtaking . . . Mieko Kawakami is always ceaselessly growing and evolving. Perhaps someday she will return to the nearly perfect, natural primal world of Breasts and Eggs. Haruki Murakami, author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles
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Review quote

Originally published in Mieko Kawakami's native Japanese, the author's stellar 2008 novel Breast and Eggs is being translated to English for the first time ever this month, opening her bold writing up to a wider audience. * Dazed and Confused * The novel details the lives of three women: the 30-year-old unmarried narrator, her older sister Makiko, who's obsessed with getting breast implants and her daughter, Midoriko. With humour and compassion, Kawakami explores female oppression in Japan, reproduction rights and motherhood. * Now Magazine * So finely crafted, every few lines could be a haiku, and you almost forget how difficult it must have been to create something so perfectly simple. And when you notice the clarity, meditativeness, eccentricity, quirk and wit in her writing, you immediately understand how Murakami could be inspired by a writer like this. -- Praise for Ms Ice Cream Sandwich * Ladies Finger * Kawakami is emerging as one of Japan's most prominent young literary voices, with thoughtfulness and eccentricity at the heart of her prose. * Culture Trip * Mieko Kawakami lobbed a literary grenade into the fusty, male-dominated world of Japanese fiction with 'Chichi to Ran'('Breasts and Eggs') * Economist * One of Japan's brightest stars is set to explode across the global skies of literature . . . Kawakami is both a writer's writer and an entertainer, a thinker and constantly evolving stylist who manages to be highly readable and immensely popular. * Japan Times * An original and deeply moving novel-that is by turns hilarious, sexy, devastating, and always unforgettable. Breasts and Eggs crackles with provocative insights into the passage of time, friendship, money, and the pleasures and pains of living in a body. I found myself pausing regularly to marvel at Mieko Kawakami's gift for seeking out the caverns hidden deep within her characters and shining a light there. This book is a gift. -- Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel Breasts and Eggs unwraps with great care the puzzle of being alive today, inviting us to challenge how we think and deepen how we feel. Mieko Kawakami is a writer of rare candour and brilliance. -- Ronan Hession, author of Leonard and Hungry Paul I've nearly finished Mieko Kawakami's Breasts and Eggs, about a working-class Japanese woman making her way, or not, with friends, her sister and her niece in modern Tokyo. It's fierce and sweet and I would like the rest of Kawakami's work translated, please. -- Sarah Moss, author of Summerwater, in The Times Already a literary sensation . . . Kawakami writes with unsettling precision about the body - its discomforts, its appetites, its smells and secretions. And she is especially good at capturing its longings, those in this novel being at once obsessive and inchoate, and in one way or another about transformation . . . she regularly drops phrases that made me giddy with pleasure. -- Katie Kitamura * New York Times * Breasts and Eggs is incredible and propulsive: deadpan on modern femininity, tilting between intimate relationships and sweeping views of Tokyo and Osaka, and abundantly peopled with characters who have lots to say. One to get lost in. -- Naoise Dolan, author of Exciting Times Breasts and Eggs is stunning - its rage, wry humour and nihilism rendered with real care. It's compelling too, and yet nearly every page gave me reason to pause, realising that some tiny stitch in the fabric of everyday life as a woman had been unceremoniously unpicked. -- Olivia Sudjic, author of Sympathy The tension between having children and creating art propel a dazzling intellectual thriller by a new Japanese literary star . . . Breasts and Eggs remains a stunning work of iridescence, changing with the light. For good reason this promises to be one of the most talked-about novels of the year. * Financial Times * Breasts and Eggs will appeal to readers who delight in finding the female intellect prioritized on the page; if you like Sheila Heti, you'll love Mieko Kawakami. * NPR * Kawakami's prose is bold, modern, and surprising. Breasts and Eggs is a moving story about womanhood and modern life told through the lens of a supremely confident writer. -- An Yu, author of Braised Pork As if traced before our eyes, objects close at hand are rendered with uncommon precision. An incredible display of nonchalance backed by careful diction. -- Yoko Ogawa, author of The Memory Police I can never forget the sense of pure astonishment I felt when I first read Mieko Kawakami's novella Breasts and Eggs . . . breathtaking . . . Mieko Kawakami is always ceaselessly growing and evolving. Perhaps someday she will return to the nearly perfect, natural primal world of Breasts and Eggs. -- Haruki Murakami, author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles
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About Mieko Kawakami

Mieko Kawakami started her career as a singer songwriter and is now a prize-winning and bestselling author in Japan. Her first novella, My Ego, My Teeth and The World, was nominated for the Akutagawa Prize, the most prestigious literary prize in Japan, and was awarded the Tsubouchi Shoyo Prize for Young Emerging Writers. Her second novella, Breasts and Eggs, won the Akutagawa Prize. Kawakami's first full-length novel, Heaven, won the Ministry of Education's Fine Arts Award for Debut Work and Murasaki Shikibu Prize. Her collection of short stories Dreams of Love, Etc. won the Tanizaki Junichiro Prize. Breasts and Eggs, an expanded version of the novella, is her first full-length novel translated into English.
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Rating details

2,905 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 28% (804)
4 41% (1,187)
3 25% (728)
2 5% (157)
1 1% (29)
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