Told through the eyes of a 14 year-old boy subjected to relentless torment for having a lazy eye, this is a haunting novel of the threat of violence that can haunt our teenage years.
Instead of putting up resistance, the boy chooses to suffer in complete resignation. His sole friend is a female classmate suffering a similar treatment at the hands of bullies at the school. They meet in secret in the hopes of avoiding any further attention but their relationship has not gone unnoticed. One day the two are drawn to a deserted park and unwittingly walk straight into the hands of their tormentors.
Kawakami's deceptively simple yet profound work stands as a testament to her remarkable literary talent. Here she asks us to question the fate of the meek in a society that favours the strong, and the lengths that even children will go in their learned cruelty.
Kawakami's prose is bold, modern, and surprising . . . a supremely confident writer.
An Yu, author of Braised Pork
Already a literary sensation . . . she regularly drops phrases that made me giddy with pleasure.
Katie Kitamura, New York Times
Mieko Kawakami is always ceaselessly growing and evolving.
Haruki Murakami, author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles