Heaven – Book Review

Title:- Heaven

Author:- Mieko Kawakami

Translated by:- Sam Bett and David Boyd

Date published:- first published September 2nd 2009

May 25th 2021

No. of pages:- 192 pages

Genre:- Japanese literature/Fiction/YA


Plot:- 5/5

Writing:- 5/5

Overall rating:- 5/5

Hailed as a bold foray into new literary territory, Kawakami’s novel is told in the voice of a 14-year-old student who 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 tormentors.

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.

Lately I have been reading tons of Japanese and Korean literature and this book was one of them. I came across this book through Instagram and this book has some favorable reviews.

This is one of the books that will make you cry so much.

The story is set in middle school about a boy who has a lazy eye. He is being bullied relentlessly by his classmates. He then becomes friends with another girl, who is also being bullied by her own classmates and the two become friends. The story is mainly telling us about the impact of bullying one can have on another person and the friendship between the two bullied students.

The story was beautifully written and there are some heartbreaking moments in the book which will make you emotional. Also this is less than 200 pages so you can finish this book quickly.

If you are looking for a good Japanese fiction to read, I recommend this book. Worth five stars.

Mieko Kawakami (川上未映子, born in August 29, 1976) is a Japanese singer and writer from Osaka.

She was awarded the 138th Akutagawa Prize for promising new writers of serious fiction (2007) for her novel Chichi to Ran (乳と卵) (Breasts and Eggs).

Kawakami has released three albums and three singles as a singer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s