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Heaven: Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize by [Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett, David Boyd]

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Heaven: Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 741 ratings

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Taking two outcast teens as its unhappy protagonists, it is an expertly told, deeply unsettling tale of adolescent violence that will, no doubt, only grow the author's fan baseVogue

This is the real magic of Heaven, which shows us how to think about morality as an ongoing, dramatic activity. -- Merve Emre ― New Yorker

To read Heaven, by the author of Breasts and Eggs, and newly translated into English from Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd, is to bear witness to an unrelenting horror film of one boy’s youthThe Washington Post

The second novel to appear in English by the bestselling Japanese author Mieko Kawakami is tauter and even more perceptive than its predecessor . . .
Heaven is less than half the length and holds double the emotional forceNew Statesman

For me this is a perfect novel, and one I know I will return to before long -- Megan Nolan, author of Acts of Desperation

Heaven is a thoughtful novel about the value of the flaws that make us who we areLiterary Review

Short but assured. . .by the end, the reader is so dizzily absorbed in its visceral details and philosophical complexity that, when the twist comes, it hits you with a strange and unexpected forceFinancial Times

Impeccably translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd, the book is full of masterly set pieces of violence, scenes of senseless bullying so lucid you can almost feel the pain yourself . . . New York Times Book Review

Heaven is told with astonishing frankness and economy. It will cut through all your defences down to every layer of fear, isolation, hope and need you’ve ever felt . . . Mieko Kawakami is a genius -- Naoise Dolan

A raw, painful, and tender portrait of adolescent misery, reminiscent of both Elena Ferrante's fiction . . . I cannot, in good conscience, endorse it without a warning: This book is very likely to make you cry ― NPR

Brilliant . . . This
captivating, quietly devastating book is about the relationship between two school misfits. The same vulnerabilities that expose them to their tormentors allow them to see one another with a pure sort of attention -- Megan Nolan ― New Statesman

In this horror film, oblivious authority figures walk on by as you grope for breath, wondering what it even means to be alive and freeIndependent

Simple and profound, Heaven is an undeniable masterpiece -- Mitsuyoshi Numano

A poignant odyssey into the haunted caverns of adolescence . . . Kawakami writes with jagged, visceral beauty about those early antagonists we carry around in our heads, scars we bear into adulthood, ‘caught in the undertow’ of hormones and sorrowOprah Daily

Mieko Kawakami pulls from the all too familiar places we learn to accept as normal in our youth and gives them to us to reflect on as adults in a painful yet necessary way.
Even if we could never learn the absolute truths behind humans' capacity for violence as well as empathy, we are certainly closer now with Heaven -- An Yu, author of Braised Pork

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

Mieko Kawakami has spun a poignant tale on the theme of bullying . . .
Heaven is a tour de forceTokyo Shimbun

Heaven covers new terrain, masterfully broadening the literary landscapeYomiuri 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 classicKirkus

Rises above the philosophical questions at its depths and delivers the reader to a devastating conclusionElle Japan

Kawakami’s powerful and unassuming novel explores horrific accounts of bullying in a Japanese school . . .
Her sensitive, evocative storytelling sets her apart as an incredible literary talentBookList

Kawakami is a writer who doesn’t shy away from hard truths and painful experiences, so
Heaven will not be an easy read, but it’s guaranteed to be a rewarding oneThe Japan Times

It is difficult to write young voices well: easy to forget how smart teenagers are, or to portray them in terms of what adults might wish for them. Mieko Kawakami, however, is adept at understanding their perspective and capturing the despair and intractability of those difficult years . . .
As with Kawakami's previously translated work, Breasts and Eggs, this is an adroit novel of real feeling and insight from a writer who wants her readers to think for themselves -- Rónán Hession ― Irish Times

Mesmerizing . . . Kawakami is a master of the interior voice. There is something about her prose that is so immediate and pressing it blocks out the future almost as if it were a threatening force. We are forced to deal with her characters as they are living now: alone, vulnerable, and unprotected ― World Literature Today

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 ― Paperback Paris

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 yet chilling in equal measuresAmerican Booksellers Association

Heaven takes on the issue of bullying, and why a victim might choose not to fight back. Two teenagers bond over their torment, and their passive response reveals many kinds of societal injustice ― Washington Post

This sharp new novel from Mieko Kawakami [is] a sucker-punch of a story that implores you to question even your own moralityCosmopolitan

With grace and clarity, Kawakami explores destructive nature of adolescent violence, and the power of empathetic friendshipsThe Millions

How can a relationship really last when its foundation is built on shared experiences of humiliation? The author moves toward an answer in this
quietly devastating tale of middle school drama ― TIME

If you enjoyed Mieko Kawakami’s brilliant Breasts and Eggs, you’re certain to be astonished by her latest novel exploring violence and bullying with fierce, feminist and damning candorMs. Magazine

While Kawakami refuses to give us answers, the elegance and care with which she describes her characters’ lives invite the reader to ask such questions of themselves.
This is not a cruel story, but rather one that understands hurt and pain for what it is: universal, unjust and material for new lifeBookPage

Mieko Kawakami is the reigning queen of contemporary Japanese literature for good reason ―
Japan Times

Kawakami is taking the reader by the hand and guiding us through someone’s small, interior life as a method of contemplating wide-ranging, universal issues such as the body, ethics, and meaning ―
Bad Form Review

A poignant and unsettling look at what makes a friendship and, on a macro level, what makes an unequal society.
Kawakami’s writing is meticulous and assured, and Heaven leaves a bruiseThe Skinny

Exceptional -- David Hayden ― White Review 'Books of the Year' --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Book Description


  • High-profile national and regional media
  • Galleys and e-galleys (Edelweiss, Netgalley) widely available 
  • Author and translators available for interviews and features 
  • Regional Fall show promotion
  • Indie Next List campaign
  • Booksellers outreach, blurbs
  • Author endorsements
  • Library marketing campaign
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08NJZBX69
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Picador (10 Jun. 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2220 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 181 pages
  • Customer reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 741 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
741 global ratings

Top reviews from United Kingdom

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 January 2022
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality book
By YR&amp;RRK on 23 January 2022
I am very surprised by the quality of this book. The cover the pages excellent quality.
Excellent book by Mirko Kawaksmi writing about problems young people have in an eye opening and gripping way.
Didn’t disappoint even at the price point £10 ( I don’t usually pay this much but would recommended to anyone.
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 September 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awestruck!
By Gigi on 2 September 2021
I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while now so I finally caved in and bought it. It arrived the next day after ordering, packaged securely and no markings or scuffs on the book at all, it’s in perfect condition.

The book itself has sensitive content so please be aware of what you’re buying before actually buying it. I think the book was really eye opening to me and it hits you with the reality, it’s brutal. Nonetheless, I think the book was good and it was a very interesting read!
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 July 2022
2 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 June 2022
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 June 2021
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