Heaven (Paperback)Mieko Kawakami (author)
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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.
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.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 194 g
Dimensions: 217 x 138 x 17 mm
'Kawakami unflinchingly takes the reader through the abyss of depraved, dehumanizing behavior with keen psychological insight, brilliant sensitivity, and compassionate understanding. With this, the author's star continues to rise' - Publishers Weekly
'Interspersed between scenes of bullying so brutally vivid as to make the reader feel short of breath, the conversations between characters and the long monologues summon a deep spirituality that makes the small world of fourteen feel enormous, as an exemplary ensemble piece is built before our eyes . . . This rare book infiltrates the heart on an emotional and rational level and is one which I unhesitatingly declare a masterpiece' - Yumi Toyozaki
'Simple and profound, Heaven is an undeniable masterpiece' - Mitsuyoshi Numano, Tokyo Shimbun
'The gorgeous final scene captures the beauty of the world as witnessed through the eyes of someone who has learned that life is finite. After surviving the simulation of death that we call bullying, the narrator embraces loss from a perspective that includes death in its purview. In the end, that is heaven. This novel made me keenly aware that in this world, no honest life is possible without this sense of loss' - Keiko Iwamiya, Shincho
'Mieko Kawakami has spun a poignant tale on the theme of bullying . . . Heaven is a tour de force' - Tokyo Shimbun
'Heaven covers new terrain, masterfully broadening the literary landscape' - Yomiuri Shimbun
'Kawakami has a unique knack for burrowing into discomfort, and she does it in a startlingly graceful way. Like her last novel-an unsparing treatise on the pressures of being a woman in male-dominated Japan-this book isn't for the fainthearted. Told from the perspective of a 14-year-old boy in present-day Japan, Kawakami's tale follows the volatile lives of two teenagers relentlessly bullied by their peers . . . An unexpected classic' - Kirkus
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