Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami

i deleted my review after getting one too many comments misreading my various criticisms (either calling me “too woke” or implying that i do not respect women who want to have children or, and this gets the cake, “an anglo saxon liberal chauvinist” which makes me wonder if angry commentators such as these even take the trouble of checking my profile before making their wildly inaccurate estimates or guesses about moi).

i even had a disclaimer where i stated that what i had written was less of a review than a cathartic rant…anyway, i actually really like this author, and this is the only book by her that I did not like. i had some issues with the way the author chooses to go about her interrogation of “womanhood”, that unnecessary transphobic scene which added nothing and doesn’t even lead to a more inclusive discussion on the female experience (please do not read this as me saying that kawakami herself is transphobic), the way victims of sexual abuse are portrayed as “tragically broken”…and many other things.

but if you liked it good for you. just don’t put f*cking words into my mouth. frankly i am tired of books that equate women with breast and eggs, and while this book’s title is supposedly ironic and the narrative is meant to challenge such rhetorics it ultimately doesn’t succeed (and to reiterate for those who are convinced their view is and must be universal in all things: not only is this is my opinion but my having this opinion doesn’t affect you one bit. if the knowledge that there are people out there who will interpret things differently from you leads you to leave nasty comments please unfriend me, unfollow me, and/or block me).

my rating: ★★☆☆☆

Read more reviews on my blog / / / View all my reviews on Goodreads

  1. You hold Kawakami up to Western standards because you’re an Anglo Saxon liberal chauvinist who can’t appreciate that in other cultures the epoch of trans rights hasn’t progressed as far yet. Japan is rampant with nationalistic Nihonjinron propaganda so it is commendable that Kawakami even identifies as a feminist. And even so, just because the main character misgenders someone that doesn’t mean the author shares that same sentiment. Good characters are always flawed.


    1. Hi, I am afraid to disappoint but I am not ‘an Anglo Saxon’ and as I think I mentioned in my review I come from a very catholic and not very progressive country where lgtq+ people have very little visibility. I understand that the character isn’t a reflection of the author (eg. Lolita) but here that whole scene just seemed unnecessary (to me).
      I have liked Kawakami’s 2 other novels so her ‘background’ (as you seem to imply) is not the reason why I did not like Breast & Eggs. Please, refrain from leaving comments on my reviews (if you do, I will delete them). Grazie!


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