This is a gut-wrenching story of two classmates who forge a bond through their shared experience of severe bullying. Devastatingly pure, Mieko Kawakami asks some of life’s most complex questions in simple terms: it’s uncomfortably topical, real, and sometimes cruel, but all the while highlights the importance of perception, resilience, and what can happen when we reclaim our own understanding of beauty.
This short but powerful read packs a punch, and I’ll be thinking about it for a long, long time.
June 2021 Indie Next List
“I loved this book. Its portrayal of bullying is moving and intelligent. Kawakami gives us characters who speak to the heart and illustrate in one form or another the dilemma facing everyone in adolescence. Hopeful but chilling in equal measures.”
— Don Luckham, The Toadstool Bookshop - Keene, Keene, NH
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE
"A raw, painful, and tender portrait of adolescent misery... This book is very likely to make you cry."--Lily Meyer, NPR
With profound tenderness and sensitivity, Japanese literary superstar Mieko Kawakami turns her unique gaze onto the causes and effects of violence. Raw but revelatory, this novel stands as a dazzling confirmation of Kawakami's standing as one of her country's most insightful and compelling novelists.
In Heaven, a shy high-school student is subjected to bullying from his classmates and the only person capable of understanding his ordeal is a young classmate who suffers similar treatment at the hands of her tormentors. Each finds in the other a unique sensibility capable of offering not only solace but also a fresh perspective on their predicaments.