The Flowers Look More Beautiful Now Than Ever | Mieko Kawakami | Granta

The Flowers Look More Beautiful Now Than Ever

Mieko Kawakami

Translated by Hitomi Yoshio

‘It’s hard to imagine a country where a lockdown would function perfectly, but in the case of Japan, which lacks basic individualism, the current situation has bred insidious hatred and division.’

Mieko Kawakami

Born in Osaka prefecture in Japan, Mieko Kawakami made her literary debut as a poet in 2006. Her first novella My Ego, My Teeth, and the World, published in 2007, was awarded the Tsubouchi Shoyo Prize for Young Emerging Writers. The following year, Kawakami published Breasts and Eggs as a novella, and won Japan’s most prestigious literary award, the Akutagawa Prize. In 2016, she was selected as Granta Best of Young Japanese Novelist. Kawakami is also the author of the novels Heaven, The Night Belongs to Lovers, and the newly expanded Breasts and Eggs, her first novel to be published in English, translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd. One of her novellas, Ms Ice Sandwich, was also translated into English by Louise Heal Kawai. She lives in Tokyo.

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Translated by Hitomi Yoshio

Hitomi Yoshio is Associate Professor of Global Japanese Literary and Cultural Studies at Waseda University in Japan. She received her PhD from Columbia University in 2012, and has published articles on women writers and feminist literary communities in late 19th and early 20th century Japan. Her current research focuses on the contemporary writer Mieko Kawakami, and her translations of Kawakami’s works have appeared in Granta, Freeman’s, Monkey Business, Denver Quarterly, Words without Borders, Wasafiri and The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories.

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