“Kawakami is a writer who doesn’t shy away from hard truths and painful experiences,” wrote the Japan Times. Told simply and directly but containing astonishing emotional depth, Heaven explores the meaning and experience of violence and the consolations of friendship. Bullied because of his lazy eye, Kawakami’s protagonist suffers in silence. His only respite comes thanks to his friendship with a girl who is also the victim of relentless teasing. But what is the nature of a friendship if your shared bond is terror?
Unflinching yet tender, sharply observed, intimate and multi-layered, Heaven is yet another dazzling testament to Kawakami’s uncontainable talent. A frank and brilliantly evocative writer who is “ceaselessly growing and evolving,” according to Haruki Murakami, Kawakami is, for The Economist, “Japan’s brightest new literary star.”
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.