Breasts and Eggs
'Breathtaking' – Haruki Murakami, author of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle
A New York Times 'Notable Book of 2020' and one of Elena Ferrante's 'Top 40 Books by Female Authors'
On a hot summer’s day in a poor suburb of Tokyo we meet three women: thirty-year-old Natsuko, 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 Natsuko’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 Natsuko 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 international talent.
'A sharply observed and heartbreaking portrait of what it means to be a woman, in Japan and beyond' –Time, 'The 100 Must-Read Books of 2020'
'Bold, modern and surprising' – An Yu, author of Braised Pork
'Incredible and propulsive' – Naoise Dolan, author of Exciting Times
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
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
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