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Heaven
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
31 posts | 22 read | 24 to read
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review
sailu112
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
Pickpick

This is an intense yet touching book. Talks about bullying, suicide. What was good was how bullying is touched both from bullied and the one who bullied‘s POV.

review
BookwormM
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
Mehso-so

#BookerInternationalShortlist2022

Well that was an intensely bleak experience glad I read all the way to the end for that little hint of hope

Full review here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4725351023

review
batsy
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Pickpick

My first book by Mieko Kawakami, & now I want to read everything else by her. This book about bullying & the two teens who strike up an unusual friendship over their shared condition of being victimised is deeply philosophical—interviews with Kawakami suggest an exploration of Nietzsche‘s concepts of power. It is the coolly detached bully-by-association, Momose, whom I found disturbing. He‘s the libertarian bro we find everywhere in our spaces.

batsy I found Kojima fascinating; completely devoid of the trappings of usual notable female characters. It‘s not about beauty/sex appeal/a sassy personality, just someone with a single-minded devotion to a principle. A kind of martyrdom, to counter Momose‘s self-centredness. But maybe Kojima‘s & Momose‘s principles are two sides of the same coin of individualism? Perhaps the narrator‘s passivity is his way of saying no to those moral systems. 2mo
batsy By refusing, he's thinking his way into a moral system that considers not only the individual making those choices, but their responsibility to others. I like that Kawakami reminded me about how teenagers can be: lots of thinking going on about the systems & values that order the world. It might be simplistic, but there's often a useful clarity. It's nice when adult writers treating young characters with respect. #InternationalBookerPrize2022 2mo
erzascarletbookgasm Insightful review 👍 2mo
See All 14 Comments
sarahbarnes Great review. I completely agree with you that I love the way Kawakami didn‘t patronize or oversimplify the young characters in the book. I really liked Breasts and Eggs, too. 2mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Thanks! 😘 2mo
batsy @sarahbarnes Thank you! I'm so pleased to hear you liked it, too. I really can't wait to read Breasts and Eggs and her new (in translation) one also sounds really good 2mo
sarahbarnes Yes, I‘m excited to read the new one, too! I‘m anxiously waiting for the library to get it in. 2mo
ErikasMindfulShelf I loved Breasts and Eggs. Didn‘t know about this one but definitely want to read it! 2mo
vivastory Wonderful review. If you do read Breasts & Eggs, I found it's helpful to think of it as 2 linked novellas rather than 1 novel. Def worth reading & I hope to read Heaven soon. 2mo
BarbaraBB Wonderful review. I kept thinking about this book for a long time. The characters are so authentic. Same goes for Breasts and Eggs. I just preordered the new one. (edited) 2mo
batsy @ErikasMindfulShelf I highly recommend it; it's quite short, as well 🙂 2mo
batsy @vivastory @BarbaraBB Thank you! I am so looking forward to Breasts and Eggs. She has a way of writing about really difficult topics without losing the substance of the matter. 2mo
BarbaraBB And without the drama. That is what I really admire: that she gives the reader their choice of emotions. 2mo
batsy @BarbaraBB That's a really astute point! 2mo
83 likes2 stack adds14 comments
review
rockpools
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Mehso-so

I‘m going to attempt to get up to date with my #InternationalBookerPrize2022 reviews this weekend. apologies in advance!

#UnpopularOpinion - this has made the shortlist, and I understand why. It‘s a powerful but incredibly bleak and graphic look at school bullying, with the two young characters philosophising over why they‘re bullied and how to react.

rockpools It reminded me of GCSE ‘required reading‘ (Susan Hill‘s King of the Castle, anyone?) which I had a similar reaction to, hundreds of years ago, and, as far as I could see was all similarly brutal and hopeless.

My Readers Room review is at https://thereadersroom.org/2022/03/25/booker-international-longlist-2022-heaven/
2mo
squirrelbrain Great review Rachel - sounds like it by be a ‘not-for-me‘ too… 2mo
BarbaraBB GCSE? What‘s that? I loved this one but I haven‘t read the whole longlist do you can maybe judge better! 2mo
rockpools @BarbaraBB GCSEs are the exams 16-year-olds take here. My English Literature books at school all seemed to be extremely dark and miserable, and heavily based around ‘issues‘ - this had a very similar feel. And I‘d trust your judgement more than mine for these lists 🙃 - I wasn‘t surprised to see this on the shortlist, even though I didn‘t like it. I guess I like the possibility of a happy ending in my books, even if there‘s no ‘conclusion‘! 2mo
BarbaraBB Thanks for clearing that up. And indeed all lists here are dark and about “issues” too! 2mo
51 likes1 stack add5 comments
blurb
shawnmooney
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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https://youtu.be/ajlEhwXlUaQ

A playlist of all episodes in the Bite-sized Book Chat series: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLU-61cZp1pQdBH5V0Zb9q-2ujl4PY8nhf

Chat #1: with David from the American Heartland

Heaven by Mieko Kawakami
Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)

Breasts and Eggs - Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)

shawnmooney Chat #2: with Vansa from India

Ennemonde by Jean Giono, Bill Johnston (Translation)

Chat #3: with Lara from Newfoundland

The Mystery of Right and Wrong by Wayne Johnston

The Story of Bobby O'Malley by Wayne Johnston

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams
(Newfoundland Trilogy #1) by Wayne Johnston
2mo
shawnmooney Chat #4: with Diane from Madison, WI

The Last Will & Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo by Germano Almeida
Sheila Faria Glaser (Translator)

The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas by Machado de Assis
Gregory Rabassa (Translator)
2mo
21 likes2 comments
review
sarahbarnes
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Pickpick

This beautiful book was really difficult to read at times, although I‘m glad I did. Kawakami deftly captured the experiences of the young characters, and I think did justice to the complexity of thoughts and emotions of youth. She doesn‘t oversimplify. It is a heartbreaking story in many ways, and a solid pick.

BarbaraBB Great review, it says it all. An important book! 2mo
sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB ❤️💔 2mo
vivastory Terrific review! Looking forward to reading this 2mo
BkClubCare Stacked! 2mo
32 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
AnneCecilie
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Bailedbailed

Sorry book, I‘m just not feeling you at the moment. I feel that the translation I‘m reading is keeping me at a distance so I doesn‘t care what happens with the two characters. I also spotted some spelling mistakes at the beginning that didn‘t help.

Suet624 Good to know. 3mo
BarbaraBB Maybe another time! I love that cover by the way! 3mo
64 likes2 comments
blurb
BarbaraBB
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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#BookReport 12/22

Another awesome week. Such good books. All of them. Favorite though is The Burgess Boys!

TrishB You‘re making up for all those meh weeks! 3mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB I am! The question is: was het me or the books 😉?! Did you buy the Platt yet???? 3mo
Cinfhen Yay!! Fabulous week!! Have you read this one??? 3mo
See All 15 Comments
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen Yes! But not yet the sequel and I REALLY want to read 3mo
Megabooks Fantastic!! I can‘t wait to read 3mo
merelybookish I love Strout. She is one of my fave contemporary writers. I live close to Maine, so the cultural stuff resonates too. 3mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks Fingers crosses that you‘ll like it. Have you read Strout before? I can‘t remember… 3mo
BarbaraBB @merelybookish I sometimes feel I know Maine too, she describes it so well! 3mo
TrishB I still haven‘t given in! I did buy 3 new book cases though 😱 arriving Monday! 3mo
Cinfhen You MUST read the sequel - SO GOOD!! Some of the characters from Burgess Boys return!!!!! 3mo
Cinfhen And Oh William is a prequel to Lucy Barton (sort of) it‘s good but not as good as Olive 🫒 ( in my opinion) 3mo
Megabooks No I haven‘t! That‘s why I‘m so excited. 3mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB Haha! I love it. Happy Mothers Day! 3mo
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen Really, some Burgess Boys return? Along with Olive? That ‘s great! 3mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks oooh, exciting!! 3mo
65 likes15 comments
review
BarbaraBB
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Pickpick

Heaven tells the story of a boy and a girl who are relentlessly bullied at middle school. They find solace in each other‘s company and try to find explanations for what‘s happening and how they both react to it, in order for it to make sense.

It‘s a well written brutal novella and it broke my heart. #InternationalBookerPrize2022

LeeRHarry I couldn‘t get through this one. 3mo
squirrelbrain Sounds like a tough one… gorgeous pic though! 3mo
rockpools Lovely photo. But brutal pretty much sums up the book - think it wasn‘t the best time for me to read it. 3mo
See All 9 Comments
TrishB Great review and photo. I‘ll remember the content if I come to read! 3mo
BarbaraBB @LeeRHarry @rockpools I can see why one couldn‘t get through it. It‘s very hard indeed but I felt so much for both characters that I wanted to read on and on. 3mo
Cathythoughts Great review, sounds like a tough read 💔 3mo
vivastory I added this to my TBR yesterday. Looking forward to reading it. 3mo
Megabooks Wonderful review! 💜 3mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I think I loved it more than you did. I even preferred it to B&E! 3mo
86 likes3 stack adds9 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Pickpick

CW for violence, harm to children, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, self-harm.

Oof. Well I went looking for books from the new Booker International Prize longlist for 2022, and found this one in #hoopla. It was originally published in Japan in 2009, and published in the English translation by Sam Bett and David Boyd, the same team that translated Breasts and Eggs. ↘️

ReadingEnvy A 14-year old boy with a lazy eye is referred to as "Eyes" by his classmates and is the victim of ongoing, outrageous bullying. He is befriended by a girl in his class, Kojima, who is also a victim of bullying, but admittedly exhibits strange behavior like not bathing or eating, deliberate acts in her own logic to connect to her father who left. They write letters about everything except their experiences at school. ↘️ 4mo
ReadingEnvy There is a chilling scene where the boy asks one of the bullies WHY and the answer is the most nihilistic darkness I've ever heard - and this serves to mess with the boy even worse than the physical bullying. 4mo
BarbaraBB Spot on review! 3mo
44 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
mhillis
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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⭐️ Current Reads: Meet Isabel Puddles by M. V. Byrne and Surfacing by Kathleen Jamie

⭐️ Fav book of January: Heaven (tagged)

⭐️ Most recent library checkout: The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

31 likes5 comments
review
Bookalong
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Pickpick

5🌟Kawakami beautifully and poignantly explores the meaning behind and the experiencing of violence while also showing the comforts friendship can bring in this coming-of-age story. This book was so good and the translation was excellently done!! An emotional ride, I was so sucked into this slim novel. It was sad and hard to read but I couldn't put it down despite this. Highly reccomend this one! Can't wait to read Breasts and Eggs! #bookreview

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shadowspeak17
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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This weekend‘s #bookstorehaul 😊📚

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shadowspeak17
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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1. Oh, definitely. I‘ve picked up books I normally wouldn‘t pay much attention too just because the title sounded cool and stuck with me.
2. Heaven by Mieko Kawakami

#Two4Tuesday

TheSpineView Happy Tuesday! 💜📙 10mo
20 likes1 comment
review
erzascarletbookgasm
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Pickpick

Exploring themes of high school bullying, & identity, this is a difficult book to read & recommend. Two classmates who are being bullied find solace in friendship. But each has a different view of why they‘re the victims & ways dealing with it. The descriptive details of bullying & violence, the nonchalant philosophy of one of the bullies, are distressing to read. The conclusion leaves the two friends‘ fate uncertain but I felt hopeful for them.

Cathythoughts Great review Jessie 👍🏻❤️ 10mo
erzascarletbookgasm Thanks Cathy. How are you, my friend? Hope all are well. 😘 @Cathythoughts 10mo
CarolynM Great review. 10mo
Cathythoughts All good ! Thanks Jessie. I hope all is well with you & yours ❤️ 10mo
64 likes1 stack add4 comments
blurb
Tonton
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
rockpools That‘s a really interesting selection! Think I need to explore WWB a bit further 😊 10mo
Tonton @rockpools WWB is pretty cool 😎! 10mo
20 likes2 comments
review
vlwelser
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Pickpick

This book is about bullying.

It's a really impressive debut novel that was recently translated to English. It's about 2 misfits that become friends because they understand each other. So it's about friendship but it's also about bullying and depression and all that entails.

#BookSpinBingo free space
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 11mo
45 likes1 comment
review
phyhill
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Pickpick

My son starts middle school next week and the extreme bullying in this book (of two middle school students) made it hard for me to get through, even though it's less than 200 pages. It was an excellent book though. I didn't love it like I loved her other two books, but it's still a pick.

6 likes1 stack add
review
Lesliereadsalot
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
Mehso-so

The story is about two school kids and their friendship, based on being outcasts. The author gives the characters a lot of depth, but I found the story of their bullying not really going anywhere.

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Lexica10
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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When a desk or vase gets scratched, it doesn‘t show you how it‘s hurting. If we keep doing this, just saying nothing, no matter what they do, think maybe we‘ll become things too? That‘s what we are to them.

review
keepingupwiththepenguins
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Mehso-so

As we've come to expect from Kawakami, Heaven is a little dark, a little weird, and very visceral. This one will put you in a strange headspace. It‘s quite a bummer, but still beautifully written and passionately felt. It‘s one I‘m not sure I would “recommend”, it won‘t be to everyone‘s taste, but it‘s one that lingered with me for days. Full review: https://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/new-releases/

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shadowspeak17
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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#JuneWrapUp
I was really looking forward to Heaven after enjoying Breasts and Eggs so much, and I‘m pleased to say I really liked it. Heaven was my favorite of the month followed by Midnight in Chernobyl, but there really weren‘t any duds this month.

Total: 6
Print: 2
Ebook: 2
Audio: 2
Fiction: 2
Nonfiction: 4

#booked2021: 1
#friendrecchallenge: 0

review
nathandrake1997
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Pickpick

In school when I was near-incessantly bullied, the first thought that crossed my mind was what makes my bullies do the things they do. Is it sadistic pleasure or something even more sinister. And the most dominant thoughts in my mind, even years after I finished school, are why I never had the courage to fight back? Was it merely because I was scared?

nathandrake1997 ....Or was it something more existential? Did the guilt of bullying me or anyone else ever seep into those bullies when they were finished with yet another round of destroying someone's self confidence irreparably and got on with their lives? 12mo
nathandrake1997 .....These and many other questions and scars in my mind were some of the myriad of reasons why I could relate with the two central characters of Mieko Kawakami's exquisite novella HEAVEN in such a profound manner. The writing, which is some of the finest work of translation I have ever read, plays a major part in this.... 12mo
nathandrake1997 ....As much as the story is about bullying and its after effects, it's the headspace of the characters that takes centre stage instead of the acts themselves, making the reading experience a lot more immersive and if like me you could relate to some of these instances..... disturbing.... 12mo
See All 14 Comments
nathandrake1997 ....There were instances where I had to take breaks, sometimes multiple times in the same page, because of how relatable some of these sequences were and the unflinching manner in which Kawakami has written about them.... 12mo
nathandrake1997 ....One of the main questions which the two central characters (the nameless protagonist and his friend Kojima) try to grapple with is why their tormentors act the way they do? It's a one line question with an answer that can fill a novella...or probably not...or maybe seeking an answer is not really an option when all you can think about is whether finding an answer would change anything? 12mo
nathandrake1997 ....The writing is conversational, but in a way that tells us more about the characters and the world around them without sounding expository. It is one of those rare, Linklater-esqe instances where conversations feel like conversations, where the reader feels like they are eavesdropping on two people talking instead of information being spoonfed to them.... 12mo
nathandrake1997 ....There is a lot more I could say about this exquisite novella and I probably will in a spoiler-filled article someday. There is a lot I want to talk about, probably in a manner even more meandering than this review. 12mo
batsy Brilliant review... She's a writer I must get to, and soon. 12mo
nathandrake1997 @batsy Thank you so much ❤️ HEAVEN was my first Kawakami book and I am already in love with her writing style! Can't wait to read more of her work ❤️ Also, can't wait to read your review ❤️ 12mo
nathandrake1997 @BarbaraBB Thank you so much ❤️ And yes, this book was brilliant...my favourite read of the year so far ❤️ 12mo
SamAnne I‘ve been wanting to read her. Great review. 12mo
nathandrake1997 @SamAnne Thank you so much ❤️ After reading HEAVEN Kawakami has already become one of my favourite Japanese authors ❤️ 12mo
Suet624 I have so many thoughts and feelings after reading of your experiences. Not even sure where to begin. I‘m sorry. 12mo
BarbaraBB What a wonderful and painful review. This book must have been so hard to read. I can‘t even imagine 🤍 3mo
13 likes1 stack add14 comments
blurb
peaknit
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Deck reading is the best. Thank you humidity for taking a hike…for tonight.

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shadowspeak17
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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My library hold came in! I‘m really looking forward to starting this one. I read Breasts and Eggs back in February and loved it. I hope this one will be a great read too.
#catsoflitsy #Ember

erzascarletbookgasm I liked B&E, I want to read this too! Enjoy! 13mo
45 likes1 comment
review
Megabooks
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Pickpick

The unnamed narrator of this novel has a lazy eye and is constantly beaten by classmates. A girl who is equally bullied begins a correspondence with him. Despite differences, they become close until the climax reveals how truly different they are.

The only thing that took me out of the narrative was a bully that has too cogent a theory about it for his age. Despite this and the at times difficult-to-stomach violence, Heaven is a definite pick.

Megabooks @BarbaraBB I‘m going to recommend this one to you!! 13mo
Cinfhen I‘m definitely interested but I‘m waiting to see if I can #BorrowNotBuy 13mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen I think that‘s a good choice for you. 👍🏻 13mo
See All 9 Comments
BarbaraBB It sounds intense but your recommendation means a lot. #stacked 13mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB It is intense, but I think you‘ll enjoy it. 13mo
vivastory I had issues with B&E. I had to think of it more as two linked novellas, rather than a novel, but I am intrigued by this one! 13mo
Megabooks @vivastory This is a novel unlike B&E, which I believe was originally serialized. I can see you enjoying this. Definitely Japanese in tone and plot. And I mean that in a positive way. 👍🏻 13mo
erzascarletbookgasm Oh I want to read this! Sounds good. Already stacked when you first posted about it. 😊 13mo
Megabooks @erzascarletbookgasm Enjoy! It‘s really good! 13mo
91 likes3 stack adds9 comments
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Megabooks
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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(US) #NewRelease #bookmail!! I loved B&E, so I‘m excited for this one! #CoverLove

BarbaraBB You‘ve got it already!! Can‘t wait to hear your thoughts! 13mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB I might have to put everything else aside!! 😁 13mo
BarbaraBB You might!! 13mo
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Megabooks @BarbaraBB I did! I‘m about ⅔ done right now! 13mo
Cinfhen How is it?? I‘m hoping the audio shows up on Scribd!! Their selections were terrible this month / I didn‘t use any of my loans from them in May 😝 13mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen Good but I‘m not enjoying it as much as B&E. I‘m interested to see how she wraps it up. It is very Japanese in its writing/plot. I don‘t mean that in a bad way. (edited) 13mo
BarbaraBB To me that sounds quite recommending - the Japanese style! 13mo
75 likes1 stack add7 comments
review
PNWBookseller85
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Pickpick

Oof what a book. About two kids who are being brutally bullied. It‘s a tough read with a lot to unpack. But it is powerful. This one comes out in the states in May. Going to check out Kawakami‘s Breasts and Eggs next.

81 likes1 stack add
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Schlinkles
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Been eagerly anticipating this one!

47 likes1 stack add
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Hazel2019
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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French anyone? I got this great book and it‘s in French!!! And I can‘t return it 😕 if anyone is interested I‘ll mail it to you. I got it since it is one of the most promising writers per Haruki Murakami...