'Mieko Kawakami is a genius' - Naoise Dolan, author of Exciting Times
From the bestselling author of Breasts and Eggs and international literary sensation Mieko Kawakami, comes a sharp and illuminating novel about a fourteen-year-old boy subjected to relentless bullying.
In Heaven, a fourteen-year old boy is tormented for having a lazy eye. Instead of resisting, he chooses to suffer in silence. The only person who understands what he is going through is a female classmate, Kojima, who experiences similar treatment at the hands of her bullies. Providing each other with immeasurable consolation at a time in their lives when they need it most, the two young friends grow closer than ever. But what, ultimately, is the nature of a friendship when your shared bond is terror?
Unflinching yet tender, sharply observed, intimate and multi-layered, this simple yet profound novel stands as yet another dazzling testament to Mieko Kawakami’s uncontainable talent. There can be little doubt that it has cemented her reputation as one of the most important young authors at work today.
TIME's 100 Must-Read Books of 2021.
'An expertly told, deeply unsettling tale of adolescent violence' - Vogue
Translated from the Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd.
Taking two outcast teens as its unhappy protagonists, it is an expertly told, deeply unsettling tale of adolescent violence that will, no doubt, only grow the author's fan base
Kawakami never evangelizes, never wags a finger. She simply sets first-person narrations of suffering alongside stumbling dialogues, attempts to make that suffering intelligible to others . . . This is the real magic of Heaven, which shows us how to think about morality as an ongoing, dramatic activity. It can be maddening and ruinous and isolating. But it can also be shared, enlivened through writing and conversation, and momentarily redeemed through unheroic acts of solidarity, which come more naturally to the children in Heaven than to most grownups here on earth
Merve Emre, New Yorker
To read Heaven, by the author of Breasts and Eggs, and newly translated into English from Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd, is to bear witness to an unrelenting horror film of one boy’s youth
The Washington Post