Bild på författaren.

Mieko Kawakami

Författare till Breasts and Eggs

25+ verk 2,012 medlemmar 73 recensioner 2 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Verk av Mieko Kawakami

Breasts and Eggs (2008) 916 exemplar
Heaven (2009) 526 exemplar
All the Lovers in the Night (2011) 301 exemplar
Ms Ice Sandwich (2017) 225 exemplar
J'adore (2015) 7 exemplar
Vsa moja poletja 3 exemplar
Natsus somre : roman (2022) 2 exemplar
Sisters in Yellow 1 exemplar
Shame 1 exemplar
Memeler ve Yumurtalar (2023) 1 exemplar
Povesti De Vara (2021) 1 exemplar
魔法飛行 (2012) 1 exemplar
早稲田文学増刊 女性号 (2017) — Redaktör; Översättare; Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
QIELL 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories (2018) — Bidragsgivare — 349 exemplar
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 03 (2013) — Författare — 11 exemplar
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 05 (2015) — Bidragsgivare — 10 exemplar
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 07 (2017) — Bidragsgivare — 8 exemplar
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 04 (2014) — Bidragsgivare — 7 exemplar
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 06 (2016) — Bidragsgivare — 5 exemplar
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 02 (2018) — Bidragsgivare — 5 exemplar
早稲田文学 2015年春号 — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
早稲田文学 2016年春号 (単行本) (2016) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
早稲田文学 2017年初夏号 (単行本) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
早稲田文学 2号 (2008) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
文学界 2008年 03月号 [雑誌] — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
群像 2012年 04月号 [雑誌] (2012) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
群像 2010年 02月号 [雑誌] (2010) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
新潮 2017年 11 月号 — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
文学界 2008年 05月号 [雑誌] (2008) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
文学界 2014年 03月号 [雑誌] (2014) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
文學界 2015年 01月号 (文学界 2015年 01月号) (2014) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
新潮 2018年 03月号 — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
文學界2019年5月号 — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
新潮 2016年 11 月号 [雑誌] (2016) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
新潮 2010年 03月号 [雑誌] — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
文學界2020年5月号 — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
文學界2018年5月号 — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
文學界2017年5月号 (2017) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
文學界2016年5月号 (2016) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
文學界2015年6月号 (2015) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
文學界 2021年05月号 — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
文藝 2008年 05月号 [雑誌] — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
ちくま 2017年11月号 No.560 — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
すばる 2014年 01月号 [雑誌] (2013) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
Waseda Bungaku Free Paper WB vol.023_2011_summer — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
Waseda Bungaku Free Paper WB vol.022_2011_spring — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
GRANTA JAPAN with 早稲田文学 03 (2016) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
S-Fマガジン 2007年 09月号 [雑誌] — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar

Taggad

Allmänna fakta

Vedertaget namn
Kawakami, Mieko
Födelsedag
1976-08-29
Kön
female
Nationalitet
Japan
Land (för karta)
Japan
Yrken
novelist
singer

Medlemmar

Recensioner

What connects these two linked novel(la)s that focus so greatly on being female in contemporary Japan is an existential worry with a religious and philosophical history going back to ancient times. From Book One:
"Do you have any idea how scared I am? I don't get it, any of it. My eyes hurt. They hurt. Why does everything change? Why? It hurts. Why was I born? Why did any of us have to be born? If we were never born, none of these things would have happened, none of it would - "


From Book Two:
"You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?" She exhaled through her nose. "it's really simple, I promise. Why is it that people think this is okay? Why do people see no harm in having children? They do it with smiles on their faces, as if it's not an act of violence. You force this other being into the world, this other being that never asked to be born. You do this absurd thing because that's what you want for yourself... Once they've had a baby, most parents would do anything to shelter them from any form of pain or suffering. But here it is, the only way to actually keep your child from ever knowing pain. Don't have them in the first place... No one should be doing this," Yuriko nearly whispered. "Nobody."


This is the antinatalist viewpoint, popularized in recent times by the philosopher David Benatar in his 2006 book [b:Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence|660518|Better Never to Have Been The Harm of Coming into Existence|David Benatar|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1348531771l/660518._SY75_.jpg|646592]. Writing, "It is curious that while good people go to great lengths to spare their children from suffering, few of them seem to notice that the one (and only) guaranteed way to prevent all the suffering of their children is not to bring those children into existence in the first place," Benatar traces this idea back to Sophocles (“Never to have been born is best") and even into the Bible ("I have praised the dead that are already dead more than the living that are yet alive; but better than both of them is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun" - Ecclesiastes).

Benatar argues that there is a mismatch between pleasure and pain. While pleasure's presence is good and pain's presence is bad, pleasure's absence is not bad if there is no one existing to miss it, while pain's absence is always good. Since existing results in both pleasure and pain, while not existing results in missing pleasure, which is not bad, and missing pain, which is good, not existing is better. Thus the ethical choice is to not have children, to not bring a being into existence as it would have been better off not existing.

Book Two of Breasts and Eggs presents this argument and asks if it convinces an adult considering procreation, while Book One asks, from the point of view of a child, if it's true or not. Kawakami's text doesn't offer a clear answer I don't think, leaving it to the reader to consider if they so choose to... not being a question that most people actually ever consider, I don't think.

In Book One, originally an independent novella, a woman in Tokyo is visited by her sister and 12 year old niece. The niece, Midoriko, is suffering through the early stages of adolescence and has stopped talking to her single mother, Makiko, only writing short responses to her on a pad of paper. Makiko drinks to escape her own pain and has come to Tokyo for a breast implant consultation, something she has become obsessed with. The combination of her own painful transition into womanhood and her mother's painful experiencing of womanhood has pushed Midoriko into a highly charged but blocked emotional state.

This impasse breaks open in a stunning scene in her aunt Natsuko's kitchen in Tokyo. She confronts her mother, sobbing, smashing raw eggs into her own head, begging for something that she's unable to clearly articulate. Makiko is unable to provide her daughter a verbal reassurance that makes sense, that makes all the suffering understandable and true. So,

Face smeared with yolk and shell, she stood and went back to Midoriko, grabbed another egg, and cracked it right between her eyes. Midoriko was still in tears but paying close attention, watching everything. She grabbed another egg for herself and rammed it into her temple. Its insides ran down her cheek, followed by bits of shell. Makiko grabbed the last two eggs, then broke them on her face, one after the other, then turned to me.
"No more?" she asked.
"There's some in the fridge," I said.


This award winning novella is fantastic. Powerful and tight and a perfect length, and as above, occasionally funny in the middle of all of it. For its English language publication, a second story has been added afterwards picking these characters up about a decade later. This second story is twice as long, far more meandering and a bit of a slog to get through though not without merit as well. It features Natsuko, now a successful writer struggling to finish a second novel, while perhaps actually more focused on how she can have a child. Single and asexual, as a woman in Japan she faces high barriers to fulfilling a desire she can't quite rationally explain the existence of, but which nevertheless powerfully drives her onward, even in the face of another character's arguments against having children as noted above.

There's a lot of discussion in this second section about what it means to have a child and what it means to be a woman, either with children or childless/childfree. How the characters deal with and try to escape the misogyny that surrounds them. There's also a lot of sagging exposition that makes it harder to enjoy and recommend it.

5 stars for Book One, 3 stars for Book Two, so 4 stars together.
… (mer)
 
Flaggad
lelandleslie | 30 andra recensioner | Feb 24, 2024 |
Breasts and Eggs is really two novels in one.

Part one follows our main character as she hosts her sister, who wants a boob job she can't afford, and her niece. who is going through puberty and the angst surrounding it all. It's the highlight of the novel, and as a standalone novella, is one of the most visceral explorations of the female body and women's beauty expectations I've ever read. It's a heartbreaking and all-too-common story of single-parenthood, unease in growing into a body you don't want, and frankly, poverty.

Part two is much longer: it follows the same main character, this time debating if she should go through a sperm donation to have a child by herself, while navigating her writing career and feelings for others as someone unable and unwilling to have sexual intercourse. It covers about 2/3 of the novel and like the former, is written as a string of dialogues about parenthood had with the main character. It's a really interesting and invigorating construction; a bit film like, a bit dreamlike.

As I noted though, the book felt more like two novels: part one and two are definitely linked by character and theme, but the time shift, the length, and the focus were almost too different to fit together with ease. The second part also... dragged. I felt its length at times, and not in a good way. I wish the class themes would have continued in the second part as well, but oh well. The ending was similarly quite ambivalent to me: I thought the buildup of this novel would lead to acceptance and joy of childlessness, or at least something akin to it, but... I don't know. I can tell how important a work like this would be to women in contemporary Japan, and I'm glad it exists.

In all, the prose was captivating and the translation awesome, and I'd love to read more of her work. But. The plot got kind of lost halfway and I can't say it's perfect.
… (mer)
½
 
Flaggad
Eavans | 30 andra recensioner | Feb 22, 2024 |
Een 14-jarige jongen wordt op school gepest omdat hij een lui oog heeft. Hij verzet zich niet tegen het geweld van zijn klasgenoten en lijdt in stilte. De enige die het begrijpt wat hij doormaakt, is een meisje uit zijn klas dat ook wordt gepest
 
Flaggad
huizenga | 25 andra recensioner | Jan 16, 2024 |
3.5 rounded up. Enjoyed the writing and the first half was a solid four stars. The second half felt like stories I've already read about women deciding when/if/how to have children.
 
Flaggad
mmcrawford | 30 andra recensioner | Dec 5, 2023 |

Listor

Priser

Du skulle kanske också gilla

Associerade författare

David Boyd Translator
Sam Bett Translator
松井 啓子 Contributor
可以 盛 Contributor
中島 悦子 Contributor
神田 さよ Contributor
吉原 幸子 Contributor
河村 昌子 Contributor
石垣 りん Contributor
井上 法子 Contributor
堀江 里美 Contributor
片山 亜紀 Translator
古谷田 奈月 Contributor
黒田 夏子 Contributor
中山 奈々 Contributor
栗木 京子 Contributor
豊 彩夏 Contributor
橋爪 彩 Illustrator
魚座 Cover artist
井上 佐由紀 Photographer
倉本 さおり Contributor
中西 歩乃歌 Contributor
菅野 つかさ Contributor
Scarlet & June Contributor
柴田 英里 Contributor
齋藤 史 Contributor
江南 亜美子 Contributor
岩川 ありさ Contributor
堀越 英美 Contributor
Ko Younghwa Translator
イ・ラン Contributor
安立 スハル Contributor
鈴木 しづ子 Contributor
盛田 志保子 Contributor
鈴木 晴香 Contributor
今村 夏子 Contributor
野中 モモ Contributor
最果 タヒ Contributor
伊藤 比呂美 Contributor
篠森 ゆりこ Translator
Haru Contributor
永瀬 清子 Contributor
東 直子 Contributor
蜂飼 耳 Contributor
Kikuko Tsumura Contributor
小平 麻衣子 Contributor
岸本 佐知子 Translator
川口 晴美 Contributor
Minako Saitō Contributor
多和田 葉子 Contributor
桐野 夏生 Contributor
銀色 夏生 Contributor
Noriko Ibaragi Contributor
樋口 一葉 Contributor
松永 美穂 Translator
野口 あや子 Contributor
葛原 妙子 Contributor
雪舟 えま Contributor
文月 悠光 Contributor
小山田 浩子 Contributor
Sayaka Murata Contributor
今橋 愛 Contributor
池田 澄子 Contributor
早坂 類 Contributor
佐藤 文香 Contributor
山崎 まどか Contributor
豊﨑 由美 Contributor
藤野 可織 Contributor
左川 ちか Contributor
松田 青子 Contributor
小澤 英実 Translator
中島 みゆき Contributor
Patrick Honnoré Translator
Magne Tørring Translator
Patrick Honnoré Translator

Statistik

Verk
25
Även av
40
Medlemmar
2,012
Popularitet
#12,794
Betyg
½ 3.7
Recensioner
73
ISBN
104
Språk
14
Favoritmärkt
2

Tabeller & diagram