by Mieko Kawakami
11 Aug 2020
A New York Times book to watch'Breathtaking' Haruki Murakami, author of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle'Radical' Katie Kitamura, author of A Separation'Uncommon precision' Yoko Ogawa, author of The Memory Police'Bold, modern and surprising' An Yu, author of Braised Pork'Incredible and propulsive' Naoise Dolan, author of Exciting TimesOn a hot summer's day in a poor suburb of Tokyo we meet three women: thirty-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. Eight years later, we meet Natsu again. She is now a writer and find 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.