Heaven by Mieko Kawakami

Heaven by Mieko Kawakami

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Translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd

 

Told from the perspective of a 14-year old boy subjected to relentless bullying, Heaven handles its difficult theme with both searing honesty and startling grace.

 

Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2022

 

From the bestselling author of Breasts and Eggs and international literary sensation Mieko Kawakami, comes a sharp and illuminating novel about a fourteen-year-old boy subjected to relentless bullying.

 

Hailed as a bold foray into new literary territory, Kawakami's novel is told in the voice of a fourteen-year-old student subjected to relentless torment for having a lazy eye. Instead of resisting, the boy suffers 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.

 

The young friends meet in secret in the hopes of avoiding any further attention and take solace in each other's company, completely unaware that their relationship has not gone unnoticed by their bullies . . .

 

Kawakami's simple yet profound new work stands as a dazzling testament to her literary talent. Here, she asks us to question the fate of the meek in a society that favours the strong, and the lengths that even children will go in their learned cruelty. 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.