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Publisher's Summary

On a hot summer’s day in a poor suburb of Tokyo we meet three women: 30-year-old Natsu, her older sister, Makiko, and Makiko’s teenage daughter, Midoriko. Makiko, an ageing hostess despairing the loss of her looks, has travelled to Tokyo in search of breast-enhancement surgery. She's accompanied by Midoriko, who has recently stopped speaking, finding herself unable to deal with her own changing body and her mother’s self-obsession. Her silence dominates Natsu’s rundown apartment, providing a catalyst for each woman to grapple with their own anxieties and their relationships with one another. 

Ten years later, we meet Natsu again. She is now a writer and finds herself on a journey back to her native city, returning to memories of that summer and her family’s past as she faces her own uncertain future. 

In Breasts and Eggs Mieko Kawakami paints a radical and intimate portrait of contemporary working-class womanhood in Japan, recounting the heartbreaking journeys of three women in a society where the odds are stacked against them. This is an unforgettable full-length English-language debut from a major new international talent. 

©2020 Mieko Kawakami (P)2020 W F Howes

Critic Reviews

"Breathtaking." (Haruki Murakami, international best-selling author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)

What listeners say about Breasts and Eggs

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Impactful

Exceptional, nuanced and insightful. I'm so glad this book was translated to English. I would highly recommend this book to fans of Japanese literature or those with a general interest in Japanese culture. すごく感動しました。

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  • Grace
  • 21-11-2020

great writing

I loved it overall. Nevertheless it gives quite one-dimensional vision of the main character inner life. Missed opportunity there.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-11-2020

A Masterpiece...

I loved every single moment of this book. Wonderfully translated and narrated - a poetic journey of a young woman making her way through life. I look forward to revisiting these books again one day.

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  • Arlene Finnigan
  • 01-10-2020

Fascinating read

This is a fascinating read. It explores the role of women in Japanese society and bodily autonomy, and has some really thought provoking (or disturbing, depending on your anxiety levels) reflections on life and death and the ethics of having children. The writing is excellent and really brings the characters to life. Some of it is (in the second part of especially) is darkly funny, excruciatingly so at points. I found it a little over long and slow paced but I think that's because I listened to the audiobook, I think it may be better to read in print.

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