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Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami; Sam Bett (Translator); David Boyd (Translator)
Publication Date: 2020-04-07
A BEST BOOK OF 2020 TIME Magazine
The New York Times (Notable Book of the Year)
Challenging every preconception about storytelling and prose style, mixing wry humor and riveting emotional depth, Kawakami is today one of Japan's most important and best-selling writers. She exploded onto the cultural scene first as a musician, then as a poet and popular blogger, and is now an award-winning novelist. Breasts and Eggs paints a portrait of contemporary womanhood in Japan and recounts 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. It tells the story of three women: the thirty-year-old Natsu, her older sister, Makiko, and Makiko's daughter, Midoriko. Makiko has traveled to Tokyo in search of an affordable breast enhancement procedure. She is accompanied by Midoriko, who has recently grown silent, finding herself unable to voice the vague yet overwhelming pressures associated with growing up. Her silence proves a catalyst for each woman to confront her fears and frustrations. On another hot summer's day ten years later, Natsu, on a journey back to her native city, struggles with her own indeterminate identity as she confronts anxieties about growing old alone and childless. Kawakami's first novella My Ego, My Teeth, and the World, published in Japan in 2007, was awarded the Tsubouchi Shoyo Prize for Young Emerging Writers. The following year, she published Breasts and Eggs as a short novella, and won praise from Yoko Ogawa and Haruki Murakami. The newly expanded Breasts and Eggs, already hailed as a "feminist masterwork" (Entertainment Weekly), is her first novel to be published in English. "Mieko Kawakami's first full-scale novel to be translated from Japanese into English reveals what a Catherine Wheel of talent she is, how unplaceable and unique. How forceful. [...] The way she moves among her characters here will make clear why Breasts and Eggs is the Makioka Sisters of its time."--John Freeman inLiterary Hub "Mieko Kawakami lobbed a literary grenade into the fusty, male-dominated world of Japanese fiction withBreasts and Eggs."--The Economist
Little Dancer Aged Fourteen by Camille Laurens; Willard Wood (Translator)
Publication Date: 2018-11-20
This absorbing, heartfelt work tells the story of the real dancer behind Degas's now-iconic sculpture, and the struggles of late nineteenth-century bohemian life of Paris. Drawing on a wealth of historical material as well as her own love of ballet and personal experience of loss, Camille Laurens presents a compelling, compassionate portrait of Marie van Goethem. Laurens also looks further, at the world of the artists' models themselves, traditionally overlooked in the history of art.
Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga; Melanie Mauthner (Translator)
Publication Date: 2014-09-16
For her most recent work and first novel - Notre-Dame du Nil, originally published in March 2012 with Gallimard in French - Mukasonga immerses us in a school for young girls, called Notre-Dame du Nil.' The book is a prelude to the Rwandan genocide and unfolds behind the closed doors of the school, in the interminable rainy season. Friendships, desires, hatred, political fights, incitation to racial violence, persecutions are all explored as the school becomes a fascinating existential microcosm of the true 1970s Rwanda.'
2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction
Consent by Annabel Lyon
Publication Date: 2021-01-26
LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE GILLER PRIZE From "this generation's answer to Alice Munro" (Vancouver Sun) comes a sly, sensual, haunting novel about two women whose lives collide when tragedy changes them forever. Saskia and Jenny are twins alike in appearance only: Saskia is a grad student with a single-minded focus on her studies, while Jenny is glamorous, thrill-seeking, and capricious. Still, when Jenny is severely injured in an accident, Saskia puts her life on hold to be with her sister. Sara and Mattie are sisters with another difficult dynamic. Mattie, who is younger, is intellectually disabled. Sara loves nothing more than fine wines, perfumes, and expensive clothing, and leaves home at the first opportunity. But when their mother dies, Sara inherits the duty of caring for her sister. She moves Mattie in with her--but it's not long until tragedy strikes. Now, both Sara and Saskia, having been caregivers for so long, find themselves on their own. Yet through a cascade of circumstances as devastating as they are unexpected, these two women will come together. Razor-sharp and profoundly moving, Consent is a thought-provoking exploration of the complexities of familial duty, and of how love can become entangled with guilt, resentment, and regret.
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
Publication Date: 2021-02-02
In the tradition of Zadie Smith and Marlon James, a brilliant Caribbean writer delivers a powerful story about four people each desperate to escape their legacy of violence in a so-called "paradise." In Baxter's Beach, Barbados, Lala's grandmother Wilma tells the story of the one-armed sister. It's a cautionary tale, about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers and go into the Baxter's Tunnels. When she's grown, Lala lives on the beach with her husband, Adan, a petty criminal with endless charisma whose thwarted burglary of one of the beach mansions sets off a chain of events with terrible consequences. A gunshot no one was meant to witness. A new mother whose baby is found lifeless on the beach. A woman torn between two worlds and incapacitated by grief. And two men driven into the Tunnels by desperation and greed who attempt a crime that will risk their freedom - and their lives. How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House is an intimate and visceral portrayal of interconnected lives, across race and class, in a rapidly changing resort town, told by an astonishing new author of literary fiction. One of 2021's Most Anticipated New Fiction The Millions * Lit Hub * O Magazine * Elle.com * Entertainment Weekly * Minneapolis Star-Tribune * Bustle
Luster by Raven Leilani
Publication Date: 2020-08-04
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR. FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, Barack Obama. AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER * LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER * WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER
"So delicious that it feels illicit . . . Raven Leilani's first novel reads like summer: sentences like ice that crackle or melt into a languorous drip; plot suddenly, wildly flying forward like a bike down a hill." --Jazmine Hughes, The New York Times Book Review "An irreverent intergenerational tale of race and class that's blisteringly smart and fan-yourself sexy." --Michelle Hart, O: The Oprah Magazine No one wants what no one wants. And how do we even know what we want? How do we know we're ready to take it? Edie is stumbling her way through her twenties--sharing a subpar apartment in Bushwick, clocking in and out of her admin job, making a series of inappropriate sexual choices. She is also haltingly, fitfully giving heat and air to the art that simmers inside her. And then she meets Eric, a digital archivist with a family in New Jersey, including an autopsist wife who has agreed to an open marriage--with rules. As if navigating the constantly shifting landscapes of contemporary sexual manners and racial politics weren't hard enough, Edie finds herself unemployed and invited into Eric's home--though not by Eric. She becomes a hesitant ally to his wife and a de facto role model to his adopted daughter. Edie may be the only Black woman young Akila knows. Irresistibly unruly and strikingly beautiful, razor-sharp and slyly comic, sexually charged and utterly absorbing, Raven Leilani's Luster is a portrait of a young woman trying to make sense of her life--her hunger, her anger--in a tumultuous era. It is also a haunting, aching description of how hard it is to believe in your own talent, and the unexpected influences that bring us into ourselves along the way.