Mieko Kawakami writes about women and gender, but she wishes society would progress to a point where she didn’t have to. In 2008 she won the Akutagawa Prize, arguably Japan’s most prestigious literary award, for her novella Chichi to Ran, or Breasts and Eggs, which explores body image in modern Japan through the relationships between a girl, her mother and her aunt. Kawakami expanded the story into a novel, which will be published in English by Picador in spring 2020. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Five Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.