An idiosyncratic and uninhibited narrative, Breasts and Eggs, is a book you haven’t had read before. It tells no story, but rather it’s a book of experiences, voices, an introspective on women’s bodies- how it feels to own it, accepting and taking control of it with conviction. An exploration of affairs of single women, working-class through many women characters, and herself of the narrator.
The book has two sections- Book one and Book two. Book one observes identity, womanhood, intimate affair, and sexuality of three women- thirty-year-old Natsuko, her older sister Makiko and Midoriko, Makiko’s daughter. Makiko is visiting her sister Natsuko in Tokyo with her daughter to seek breast enhancement surgery, while her daughter writes in her journal her fears of growing puberty. Natsuko takes on the appearance of women’s bodies, her own, on growing up as poor and on single mothers.
Book Two, set over ten years. Natsuko is a writer and working on her second novel. She hates sex but desires to bear a child as a single mother. She prospects having a child through sperm donation and actively looks out for a donor. Besides, this part also shares different women’s opinions of this unconventional birthing considering the take of society.
I loved the first part more. It is exceptional, an uncanny piece yet quick-witted. The second part is a bit longer, comparably dreary, but conveying assorted women’s voices on their bodies, on taking control of it or going for a conventional way.
Breasts and Eggs is a satisfying read. I loved it. I’ll recommend reading it slow if you’re not good with sizeable books.
Have you happened to read this book? Or thinking of it lately?
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Title: Breasts and Eggs
Author: Mieko Kawakami
Publisher: Picador Books
Publishing Date: August 2020
My Rating: 4 stars