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Breasts and Eggs by [Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett, David Boyd]
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Breasts and Eggs Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 940 ratings

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Product description


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 -- Haruki Murakami

Incredible -- Yoko Ogawa, author of The Memory Police

Bold, modern, and surprising -- An Yu, author of Braised Pork

It is Tokyo as it is lived in, not a film setNew York Times

If you like Sheila Heti, you'll love Mieko KawakamiNPR

A dazzling intellectual thriller by a new Japanese literary star . . . stunning Financial Times

Breasts and Eggs is stunning - its rage, wry humour and nihilism rendered with real care. It's compelling too, and yet nearly every page gave me reason to pause, realising that some tiny stitch in the fabric of everyday life as a woman had been unceremoniously unpicked -- Olivia Sudjic, author of Sympathy

Incredible and propulsive -- Naoise Dolan

Fierce and sweet and I would like the rest of Kawakami’s work translated, please -- Sarah Moss, author of Summerwater, in The Times

Mieko Kawakami is a writer of rare candour and brilliance -- Rónán Hession, author of Leonard and Hungry Paul

Already a literary sensation . . . Kawakami writes with unsettling precision about the body ― its discomforts, its appetites, its smells and secretions. And she is especially good at capturing its longings, those in this novel being at once obsessive and inchoate, and in one way or another about transformation . . . she regularly drops phrases that made me giddy with pleasure. -- Katie Kitamura ― New York Times

An original and deeply moving novel―that is by turns hilarious, sexy, devastating, and always unforgettable. Breasts and Eggs crackles with provocative insights into the passage of time, friendship, money, and the pleasures and pains of living in a body. I found myself pausing regularly to marvel at Mieko Kawakami’s gift for seeking out the caverns hidden deep within her characters and shining a light there. This book is a gift. -- Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel

One of Japan’s brightest stars is set to explode across the global skies of literature . . . Kawakami is both a writer’s writer and an entertainer, a thinker and constantly evolving stylist who manages to be highly readable and immensely popular. ― Japan Times

Mieko Kawakami lobbed a literary grenade into the fusty, male-dominated world of Japanese fiction with 'Chichi to Ran'('Breasts and Eggs') ― Economist

Kawakami is emerging as one of Japan’s most prominent young literary voices, with thoughtfulness and eccentricity at the heart of her prose. ― Culture Trip

So finely crafted, every few lines could be a haiku, and you almost forget how difficult it must have been to create something so perfectly simple. And when you notice the clarity, meditativeness, eccentricity, quirk and wit in her writing, you immediately understand how Murakami could be inspired by a writer like this. -- Praise for Ms Ice Cream SandwichLadies Finger

The novel details the lives of three women: the 30-year-old unmarried narrator, her older sister Makiko, who’s obsessed with getting breast implants and her daughter, Midoriko. With humour and compassion, Kawakami explores female oppression in Japan, reproduction rights and motherhood. ― Now Magazine

Originally published in Mieko Kawakami’s native Japanese, the author’s stellar 2008 novel Breast and Eggs is being translated to English for the first time ever this month, opening her bold writing up to a wider audience. ― Dazed and Confused --This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

Mieko Kawakami is the author of the internationally bestselling 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 works have been translated into many languages and are available all over the world. She has received numerous prestigious literary awards in Japan for her work, including the Akutagawa Prize, the Tanizaki Prize, and the Murasaki Shikibu Prize. She lives in Tokyo, Japan. Heaven is published in 2021.

Sam Bett studied Japanese at UMass-Amherst and Kwansei Gakuin University. Awarded the Grand Prize in the 2016 JLPP International Translation Competition, he has translated fiction by Yoko Ogawa, Yukio Mishima, and Nisio Isin. He is currently co-translating with David Boyd the novels of Mieko Kawakami.

David Boyd is Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is the winner of the 2017/2018 Japan–U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature for his translation of Hideo Furukawa’s Slow Boat (Pushkin Press, 2017). With Sam Bett, he is currently co-translating the novels of Mieko Kawakami. --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B081Z2F4DQ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Picador (20 August 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1112 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 358 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 940 ratings

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
940 global ratings
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Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 11 June 2021
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3.0 out of 5 stars Problematic!
By Kavitha Ashokkumar on 11 June 2021
Breasts and Eggs? Eggs and Breasts?

First Part.

*Brief Pause*

What made me get intrigued about Meiko Kawakami's 'Breasts and Eggs'? As a matter of fact, Though the title and the blurb convinced me to give this book a try, the significant themes present in the plot lured me more. The reverberation of 'Existential feminism' and 'Body autonomy' in the reviews made me read it for #femmemarch.

The novel commenced with the narrator who was elaborating on the subject 'What it means to be a poor?' Our narrator here is Natsuko, a woman who struggles to become a writer, the portrayal of Natsuko signifies that the author has brilliantly sketched a life of working class women in contemporary Japan. Her thoughts are harrowing to the core. Honestly, the recondite mental picture of Natsuko is sheer brilliance. Kawakami introduces another two profound characters here, Makiko(Natsuko's sister)and her daughter Midoriko, a mother and daughter who have an intricate relationship. Midoriko struggles to understand the changes in her body, the menstruation baffles her, her silence implies that she feels threatened and ashamed to communicate with her mother about her body, she stops talking to Makiko when she comes to know about the menstrual cycle and changes in a woman's body, she is also reflecting her inner fears about her mother being a single parent and striving hard to earn money. Midoriko pens her thoughts explicitly in her journal, the journal constantly deals with the body image and cognitive thoughts on womanhood. Makiko arrives to Tokyo for breast implantation, her lanky figure haunts Natsuko.

Okay! Okay! It sounds radical and progressive, Doesn't it? But... it's not! Why? Why?
Why these writers are positioning themselves as the progressive writers of feminist literature and deceiving us cruelly with their disgusting transphobia?

Read some lines from 'Breasts and Eggs' below that horrified me to a very great extent.Natsuko is encountering a woman in the bathhouse, these lines are her convictions(transphobic) on that woman.

'I tried seeing what the tomboy had between her legs'

'Was the tomboy actually a woman? I mean this was the women's side'

The first part of 'Breasts and Eggs' merely reduced women to their bodies! The journal entries of Midoriko is exasperating, the overlong description of menstruation made me wonder that ' Are Women who get their periods allowed to be called as 'Women'? Also when Natsuko misgenders a woman in the bathhouse, I started getting frustrated with the storyline. I was screaming inside 'No it's not supposed to be like this! Noo!'

The readers might overlook these problematic outlooks of the author on gender while reading the dreamy narration, the flawless diction of 'Breasts and Eggs' might deceive you, but honestly, my experience of reading this book is extremely frustrating, I got tried of encountering transphobia in the contemporary feminist literature.
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Reviewed in India on 19 October 2020
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Reviewed in India on 16 February 2021
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Reviewed in India on 21 May 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars Supremely unexpected! ❤️
By Shubhangi @bewitched_reader on 21 May 2021
"People are willing to accept the pain and suffering of others, limitless amounts of it, as long as it helps them to keep on believing in whatever it is that they want to believe. Love, meaning, doesn’t matter."
Mieko Kawakami, Breasts and Eggs

Every once in a while I get shocked by the necessity that a story holds. A story that everyone has to read. You may love it, you may hate it but it is something that you just have to read it. Because it will teach you things that a hundred lectures might not.

Through the years I have heard time and time again about the complexity of a woman's brain. Though mostly it has been sarcasticly or as a joke (or insult honestly), I cannot deny the truth in that statement. A woman's mind is very complex and the reason behind this complexity is the role that they play in a family or in the society. Breasts and Eggs gives insight into the mind of a woman as she struggles through life over the span of years.

I picked the audiobook of this book on a whim. My decision based solely on the intriguing title. Was this the best book I ever read? No, not really. Was this the book that I will never stop recommending? Yes, absolutely. From a young girl's questions about menstruation to a woman's insecurities about the changes in her body due to age and to the problems a woman faces in trying to have a child without a man, everything that this book astonished me by the way it was represented.

The writing had that uniqueness that I always find endearing. The characters were very very human. I loved them, hated them, sympathised with them, pitied them and just wanted to shake some sense into them at times. Natsu, our protagonist, was one of the best narrators I've read so far. I connected with her so easily! Everything felt so much more real just because of the way she was portrayed.

Not knowing anything before going into the book was the best decision ever! I don't think there has been a book that has surprised me more than this one has. Highly HIGHLY recommend this!

Rating: 4.25/5🌟
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Top reviews from other countries

Helen Price
1.0 out of 5 stars Another 13 hours I'll never get back
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 November 2020
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6 people found this helpful
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4.0 out of 5 stars A sublime meditation on modern womanhood
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 October 2020
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3 people found this helpful
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3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 March 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 October 2020
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One person found this helpful
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2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 May 2021
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