Heaven: A Novel

Category: Book
Translated By: Bett, Sam
Translated By: Boyd, David
By (author): Kawakami, Mieko
Subject:  FICTION / Coming of Age
  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Literary
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Europa Editions
Published: June 2021
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 192
Size: 8.25in x 5.25in
Our Price:
$ 34.50
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

From the bestselling author ofBreasts and Eggs and international literary sensation Mieko Kawakami, a sharp and illuminating novel about the impact of violence and the power of solidarity in our contemporary societies.

Hailed as a bold foray into new literary territory, Kawakami's novel is told in the voice of a 14-year-old student subjected to relentless torment for having a lazy eye. Instead of resisting, the boy chooses to suffer in complete resignation. The only person who understands what he is going through is a female classmate who suffers similar treatment at the hands of her tormenters.

These raw and realistic portrayals of bullying are counterbalanced by textured exposition of the philosophical and religious debates concerning violence to which the weak are subjected.

Kawakami's simple yet profound new work stands as a dazzling testament to her literary talent. There can be little doubt that it has cemented her reputation as one of the most important young authors working to expand the boundaries of contemporary Japanese literature.

"One of Japan's brightest stars is set to explode across the global skies of literature."-Japan Times

Review Quote*

Praise forHeaven

★ "Kawakami unflinchingly takes the reader through the abyss of depraved, dehumanizing behavior with keen psychological insight, brilliant sensitivity, and compassionate understanding. With this, the author's star continues to rise."-Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

★ "The author ofBreasts and Eggs takes on another subject seldom tapped in literary fiction and blows it open with raw and eloquent intensity...An unexpected classic."-Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"Kawakami is a writer who doesn't shy away from hard truths and painful experiences, soHeaven will not be an easy read, but it's guaranteed to be a rewarding one."-The Japan Times

"With a philosophical edge, Kawakami's dialogue delves into the definition of power and nature of child friendships. The result is another spine-tinglingly real novel that will weigh heavy on your heart long after its finish."-Osusume Books

Praise for Mieko Kawakami'sBreasts and Eggs

"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."-Katie Kitamura,The New York Times Book Review

"Kawakami, in her first book to be published in English, considers the agency that women exert over their bodies and charts the emotional underpinnings of physical changes-both intentional and unbidden-with humor and empathy."-The New Yorker

"[A] bracing, feminist exploration of daily life in Japan."-Entertainment Weekly

"Kawakami's timely feminist themes; strange, surreal prose; and wonderful characters will transcend cultural barriers and enchant readers who aren't afraid of a little abjection."-Alina Cohen,New York Observer

"Mieko Kawakami's first full-scale novel to be translated from Japanese into English reveals what a Catherine Wheel of talent she is, how unplaceable and unique. How forceful. […] The way she moves among her characters here will make clear whyBreasts and Eggs is the Makioka Sisters of its time."-John Freeman,Literary Hub

"Within an affecting portrait-of-an-artist-in-transition, Kawakami deftly, deeply questions the assumptions of womanhood and family-the bonds and abuses, expectations and betrayals, choices and denials."-Terry Hong,Booklist

"A street-smart, distinctly Osakan empathy reverberates throughout this perpetually surprising, cleverly spiraling novel; life is never easy, but you've got to laugh through your tears."-The Japan Times

"[A] moving, messy aria of supremely female grief-letting that sees love and rage mingled up like cracked yolks and shell."-Hermione Hoby,4 Columns

"A unique, direct voice-almost every page contains sentences that stop me in my tracks."-Marta Bausells,Literary Hub

"Kawakami writes frankly about the mix of envy, admiration, scorn, and devotion that women feel towards each other."-Jennifer Schaffer,The Baffler

"Kawakami, like Natsu herself, creates a literary form that bears witness to the many stories and hardships of working-class and single women."-Saba Ahmed,Words Without Borders

"In this novel, Mieko Kawakami deftly captures the anxiety of performing gender, while asking tough questions about class and the expectations of women."-Wendy J. Fox,BuzzFeed

"Fearless in its demand for accountability, transcendent in its honesty, [Breasts and Eggs] breathes life into feminist literature and throws down a gauntlet for other writers to aspire toward."-PopMatters

"A wonderful book with great prose style and wry humor."-Jim Havener, Green Toad Bookstore on WAMC

"Breasts and Eggs [is] as cathartic as it is brilliant."-Martha Sharpe, Flying Books in The Kit

"Kawakami's book is complex and multi-layered asking us deep and profound questions about humanity, social rules, procreation, and femininity."-The Fountain

Biographical Note

Mieko Kawakami is the author of the internationally best-selling novel, Breasts and Eggs, aNew York Times Notable Book of the Year and one ofTIME'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.