All the Lovers in the Night
FINALIST for the 2022 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
A BEST BOOK OF 2022
Oprah Daily・TIME Magazine・Washington Post・Publishers Weekly・Lit Hub
Bestselling author of Breasts and Eggs Mieko Kawakami invites readers back into her immediately recognizable fictional world with this new, extraordinary novel and demonstrates yet again why she is one of today's most uncategorizable, insightful, and talented novelists.
Fuyuko Irie is a freelance copy editor in her mid-thirties. Working and living alone in a city where it is not easy to form new relationships, she has little regular contact with anyone other than her editor, Hijiri, a woman of the same age but with a very different disposition. When Fuyuko stops one day on a Tokyo street and notices her reflection in a storefront window, what she sees is a drab, awkward, and spiritless woman who has lacked the strength to change her life and decides to do something about it.
As the long overdue change occurs, however, painful episodes from Fuyuko's past surface and her behavior slips further and further beyond the pale. All the Lovers in the Night is acute and insightful, entertaining and engaging; it will make readers laugh, and it will make them cry, but it will also remind them, as only the best books do, that sometimes the pain is worth it.
"In the skilled hands of Bett and Boyd, Kawakami's prose is instantly recognizable--immediate, incisive, and unfailingly honest."--Katie Kitamura, Entertainment Weekly (A Most Anticipated Book of 2022)
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About the Author
Mieko Kawakami is the author of the internationally best-selling novel Breasts and Eggs, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and one of TIME's Best 10 Books of 2020; and the highly-acclaimed Heaven, her second novel to be translated and published in English, which Oprah Daily described as written "with jagged, visceral beauty." Born in Osaka, Japan, Kawakami made her literary debut as a poet in 2006, and in 2007 published her first novella, My Ego, My Teeth, and the World. Known for their poetic qualities, their insights into the female body, and their preoccupation with ethics and modern society, her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Kawakami's literary awards include the Akutagawa Prize, the Tanizaki Prize, and the Murasaki Shikibu Prize. She lives in Tokyo, Japan.
David Boyd is Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has translated novels and stories by Hiroko Oyamada, Masatsugu Ono and Toh EnJoe, among others. His translation of Hideo Furukawa's Slow Boat (Pushkin Press, 2017) won the 2017/2018 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. Together with Sam Bett, he is the translator of Kawakami's Breasts and Eggs.
Praise for All the Lovers in the Night
"Kawakami's novel is uncompromisingly candid in its appraisal of the harm women inflict on one another, while never losing sight of the overarching structures that lead them to do so in the first place. Compact and supple, it's a strikingly intelligent feat."--Jo Hamya, The New York Times Book Review
"[An] engrossing, fine-boned new novel, deftly translated from Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd....with this consummate novel, Kawakami's star continues to rise, pulsing against a night that's anything but holy."--Hamilton Cain, The Washington Post
"The attention to sensory experience is particularly keen, concise, and meaningful...The startling vividness of Kawakami's images draws the reader deeper into the emotional intensity of the scenes....[she] has good instincts for creating an air of suspense, although that's not what sets her novels apart. It's her ability to make the mere passing of time, choosing to step outside and be alive, seem like an event."--Idra Novey, The Atlantic
★ "The author dazzles with her exploration of emotions... An invigorating and empowering portrait. It's a winner."--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
★ "Kawakami has created a rich and notable examination of the varied ways women choose to live their lives and the gains and losses that come with the choices they've made. Kawakami writes with the tender and incisive sensibilities of a poet.... An unforgettable and masterful work."--Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
★ "Candid and searing, Kawakami's latest is another brilliantly rendered portal into young women's lives."--Booklist (Starred Review)
"Kawakami--the author of titles such as Breasts and Eggs and Heaven--has crafted another atmospheric, subtly beautiful novel."--TIME Magazine (A Most Anticipated Book of May 2022)
"Her most accomplished novel yet...A contemporary Japanese master continues her meteoric rise into our literary firmament."--Oprah Daily (A Most Anticipated Book of 2022)
"As one of the most insightful and important writers of our time, Mieko Kawakami delivers another extraordinary exploration of relationships, work and the intimate connections that (may) make it all worthwhile."--Ms. Magazine
"[All the Lovers in the Night] is a tapestry of moments that leads to a subtle awakening of selfhood, along with an added element of romance. Beautifully translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd, [Kawakami's] keen insight focuses not only on love and loneliness but also on work and personal fulfillment, office relationships and friendships, and standards of beauty and gendered expectations."--Japan Times
"Brilliant prose underscores the pain and ecstasy of thriving in the margins."--The Boston Globe
"By highlighting the inner lives of outsiders, Kawakami's work takes aim at the social structures of class and gender. As in Breasts and Eggs, which explores reproductive autonomy, All the Lovers in the Night challenges societal strictures."--Financial Times
"In contrast to the many suffocating (western) conventions of romantic storytelling, it is refreshing to encounter a book of such irresistible sweet melancholy."--The Irish Times
Praise for Heaven and Breasts and Eggs
"An argument in favor of meaning, of beauty, of life."--Nadja Spiegelman, The New York Times Book Review on Heaven
"You're certain to be astonished by Kawakami's latest novel exploring violence and bullying with fierce, feminist and damning candor."--Ms. Magazine on Heaven
"Heaven shows us how to think about morality as an ongoing, dramatic activity. It can be maddening and ruinous and isolating. But it can also be shared, enlivened through writing and conversation, and momentarily redeemed through unheroic acts of solidarity."--Merve Emre, The New Yorker
"Heaven is very likely to make you cry."--Lily Meyer, NPR
"Kawakami is a rising young star in the literary scene."--CNN Underscored
"Original and deeply moving... This book is a gift."--Laura van den Berg on Breasts and Eggs
"Fantastic."--Kat Chow, NPR, on Breasts and Eggs
"Stunning."--Financial Times, on Breasts and Eggs
"Kawakami writes with unsettling precision about the body...she is especially good at capturing its longings."--Katie Kitamura, The New York Times, on Breasts and Eggs
"I can never forget the sense of pure astonishment I felt when I first read Mieko Kawakami's Breasts and Eggs."--Haruki Murakami
"A unique, direct voice--almost every page contains sentences that stop me in my tracks."--Marta Bausells, LitHub
"Will transcend cultural barriers and enchant readers."--Alina Cohen, New York Observer