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Mieko Kawakami

Mieko Kawakami

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; and the highly-acclaimed Heaven, her second novel to be translated and published in English, which Oprah Daily described as written “with jagged, visceral beauty.” Born in Osaka, Japan, Kawakami made her literary debut as a poet in 2006, and in 2007 published her first novella, My Ego, My Teeth, and the World. Known for their poetic qualities, their insights into the female body, and their preoccupation with ethics and modern society, her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Kawakami’s literary awards include the Akutagawa Prize, the Tanizaki Prize, and the Murasaki Shikibu Prize. She lives in Tokyo, Japan.

All Mieko Kawakami's books

Upcoming events

Our Spring-Summer 2020 catalog is here!
Download point-of-sale posters for our key titles of 2020.
Out in paperback this spring, two award-winning, international bestsellers by women in translation: Mieko Kawakami’s Breasts and Eggs and Valérie Perrin’sFresh Water for Flowers
Award-winning author Mieko Kawakami says she is happy to “stir things up” in her drive to depict the world as she sees it, as well as the experiences of people who might otherwise go unnoticed.

Latest reviews

  • “Breasts and Eggs was my first introduction to [Kawakami's] emotionally resonant perspective on intimacy and what it means to inhabit a body as a woman in Japan.”
    — Amazon Book Review, Aug 25 2021
  • “A slim and wrenching meditation on the bounds of friendship and shame.”
    — Amazon Book Review, Aug 25 2021
  • “Heaven is not simply a supremely fascinating and compelling read. It is also a tale that has the power to transform your own personal philosophy altogether.”
    — Asia Media International, Jul 23 2021
  • “Kawakami never lets us settle comfortably, which is a testament to her storytelling power. Long after finishing the novel, I find myself recalling its harrowing details and troubling contradictions.”
    — Los Angeles Review of Books, Jul 19 2021
  • “Moving and surprising... In Kawakami’s hands, bullying becomes a way to examine such concepts as power, status and the nature of evil.”
    — Tampa Bay Times, Jun 3 2021
  • ★ “Heaven further confirms Kawakami’s superb literary ability to expose and disturb... It will keep readers mesmerized to the final page.”
    — Shelf Awareness (Starred Review), Jun 2 2021
  • Heaven shows us how to think about morality as an ongoing, dramatic activity. It can be maddening and ruinous and isolating. But it can also be shared, enlivened through writing and conversation, and momentarily redeemed through unheroic acts of solidarity.”
    — The New Yorker, Jun 1 2021
  • “In a sense, Heaven is high modernism, vivid and sincere, but with an indefatigability and broad-mindedness that belongs without a doubt to the current moment.”—Sam Bett

    — Harvard Review, May 26 2021
  • Heaven is a raw, painful, and tender portrait of adolescent misery, reminiscent of both Elena Ferrante's fiction and Bo Burnham's 2018 film Eighth Grade. I cannot, in good conscience, endorse it without a warning: This book is very likely to make you cry.”
    — NPR, May 25 2021
  • “The dissonances of the novel align into perfect vision for the breathtaking ending, which is an argument in favor of meaning, of beauty, of life.”
    — The New York Times Book Review, May 25 2021
  • “This is not a cruel story, but rather one that understands hurt and pain for what it is: universal, unjust and material for new life.”
    — Bookpage, May 13 2021
  • Heaven takes on the issue of bullying, and why a victim might choose not to fight back. Two teenagers bond over their torment, and their passive response reveals many kinds of societal injustice.”
    — The Washington Post, May 10 2021
  • “Japan’s Mieko Kawakami, a rising young star in the literary scene, returns with a raw story of bullying and pain, but also friendship.”
    — CNN Underscored, May 6 2021
  • “If you enjoyed Meiko Kawakami’s brilliant Breasts and Eggs, you’re certain to be astonished by her latest novel exploring violence and bullying with fierce, feminist and damning candor.”
    — Ms. Magazine, May 4 2021
  • “With grace and clarity, Kawakami explores the destructive nature of adolescent violence, and the power of empathetic friendships.”
    — The Millions, May 3 2021
  • “Kawakami writes with jagged, visceral beauty about those early antagonists we carry around in our heads, scars we bear into adulthood, ‘caught in the undertow’ of hormones and sorrow.”
    — Oprah Daily, May 3 2021
  • “But how can a relationship really last when its foundation is built on shared experiences of humiliation? The author moves toward an answer in this quietly devastating tale of middle school drama.”
    — TIME Magazine, Apr 30 2021
  • “Taking two outcast teens as its unhappy protagonists, Heaven is an expertly told, deeply unsettling tale of adolescent violence that will, no doubt, only grow the author’s fan base.”
    — Vogue (UK), Apr 18 2021
  • “Mieko Kawakami’s characters live in a world that is made up almost entirely of women but is decidedly not made for them.”
    — New York Review of Books, Apr 10 2021
  • “Mesmerizing...Kawakami is a master of the interior voice. Her prose is so immediate and pressing it blocks out the future almost as if it were a threatening force. We are forced to deal with her characters as they are living now: alone, vulnerable, and unprotected.”
    — World Literature Today, Apr 1 2021


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