From one of Japan's most celebrated authors, comes a portrait of contemporary womanhood in Japan, recounting the intimate journeys of three women as they confront oppressive mores and their own uncertainties on the road to finding peace and futures they can truly call their own.
...a moving, messy aria of supremely female grief-letting that sees love and rage mingled up like cracked yolks and shell ... These females bleed and breed, they get drunk and bleach their nipples, they seek breast implants and sperm donors, and, most horrifying of all, it’s possible they might find single motherhood a completely satisfying state of affairs ..there is something fundamentally girlish—that is to say ingenuous and hence disarming—about [Kawakami's] writing. It makes sense that she was a blogger before she became a famous author; the novel is gratifyingly artless, delivered in a frank and funny prose that shines with unselfconsciousness and a kind of flat-footed grace.
Breasts and Eggs will appeal to readers who delight in finding the female intellect prioritized on the page; if you like Sheila Heti, you'll love Mieko Kawakami ... combines conversational and structural looseness with a bracing, exacting reflection on the fundamental strangeness of having a female body ... Her voice and concerns are so vibrant and present she practically levitates from the page; long after I finished Breasts and Eggs, Natsuko has remained with me, like a distant friend.
Like Murakami — who has enthusiastically endorsed her work — she too has a loose and colloquial style. But unlike her forebear, Kawakami writes with a bracing lack of sentimentality, particularly when describing the lives of women ... Kawakami writes with unsettling precision about the body — its discomforts, its appetites, its smells and secretions. And she is especially good at capturing its longings, those in this novel being at once obsessive and inchoate, and in one way or another about transformation ... Kawakami’s prose is supple and casual, unbothered with the kinds of sentences routinely described as 'luminous.' But into these stretches of plain speech she regularly drops phrases that made me giddy with pleasure ... skillful translation.