Breasts and Eggs (Paperback)

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Breasts and Eggs By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator) Cover Image
By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)
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Staff Reviews

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

What does it mean to bring a life into this world? What is it to be a family? To want a family? An intimate and sensory delight that evokes female life across the seasons in urban Japan, following Natsuko and her family's journey through womanhood. A perfect book for languid summer days.

— From Alex


TIME MagazineThe AtlanticBook RiotElectric LiteratureThe 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

About the Author

Mieko Kawakami is the author of the internationally best-selling novel, Breasts and Eggs, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and one of TIME's Best 10 Books of 2020. Born in Osaka, Kawakami made her literary debut as a poet in 2006, and published her first novella, My Ego, My Teeth, and the World, in 2007. Her writing is known for its poetic qualities and its insights into the female body, ethical questions, and the dilemmas of modern society. Her books have been translated into many languages and are available all over the world. She has received numerous prestigious literary awards in Japan, including the Akutagawa Prize, the Tanizaki Prize, and the Murasaki Shikibu Prize. Kawakami lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781609456702
ISBN-10: 160945670X
Publisher: Europa Editions
Publication Date: March 23rd, 2021
Pages: 432
Language: English