Heaven (Compact Disc)
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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
From the bestselling author of Breasts and Eggs and international literary sensation Mieko Kawakami comes a sharp and illuminating novel about the impact of violence and the power of solidarity in our contemporary societies.
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 chooses to suffer 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.
These raw and realistic portrayals of bullying are counterbalanced by textured exposition of the philosophical and religious debates concerning violence to which the weak are subjected.
Kawakami's simple yet profound new work stands as a dazzling testament to her literary talent. 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.