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A sprawling, deliciously messy treatise on feminity, natural and constructed, and the tenuous bonds between women: mothers, daughters, sisters, comrades.— From Maddie
In the immortal words of Popeye, "I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam," so I have some i s s u e s with the imo-kinda-sorta-a-copout-but-I-guess-it-makes-sense ending. What saves the book for me are Natsu's fantastical, is-she-dreaming-or-experiencing-psychosis interludes. Reflecting on the novel on this International Women's Day of 2021, I think Kawakami's treatment of women's views on their bodies, roles, responsibilities, relationships, and restrictions read as very true-to-life. Of course, your own mileage may vary.— From Jae
A BEST BOOK OF 2020
TIME Magazine・The Atlantic・Book Riot・Electric Literature・The New York Times (Notable Book of the Year)
The story of three women by a writer hailed by Haruki Murakami as Japan's most important contemporary novelist, WINNER OF THE AKUTAGAWA PRIZE.
On a sweltering summer day, Makiko travels from Osaka to Tokyo, where her sister Natsu lives. She is in the company of her daughter, Midoriko, who has lately grown silent, finding herself unable to voice the vague yet overwhelming pressures associated with adolescence. The story of these three women reunited in a working-class neighborhood of Tokyo is told through the gaze of Natsu--thirty years old, an aspiring writer, haunted by hardships endured in her youth. Over the course of their few days together in the capital, Midoriko's silence will prove a catalyst for each woman to confront her fears and family secrets.
On yet another blistering summer's day eight years later, Natsu, during a journey back to her native city, struggles with her own indeterminate identity as she confronts anxieties about growing old alone and childless.
One of Japan's most important and best-selling writers, Mieko Kawakami mixes stylistic inventiveness, wry humor, and riveting emotional depth to tell a story of contemporary womanhood in Japan. Breasts and Eggs recounts the intimate journeys of three women on the path to finding peace and futures they can call their own.
"Original and deeply moving...This book is a gift."--Laura van den Berg