Hay Festival Book of the Month – August 2022

Tell us your favourite book of 2022!

It's that time of year. Journalists, reviewers and cultural pundits are making their selections of the year's best books. But in a year where books have never felt more vital, we want to hear from YOU.

Vote here

All the Lovers in the Night by Mieko Kawakami

From international literary sensation Mieko Kawakami comes All The Lovers In The Night, an extraordinary, deeply moving and insightful story set in contemporary Tokyo, translated from the Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd.

Fuyuko Irie is a freelance proofreader in her thirties. Living alone, and unable to form meaningful relationships, she has little contact with anyone other than Hijiri, someone she works with. When she sees her reflection, she’s confronted with a tired and spiritless woman who has failed to take control of her own life. Her one source of solace: light. Every Christmas Eve, Fuyuko heads out to catch a glimpse of the lights that fill the Tokyo night. But it is a chance encounter with a man named Mitsutsuka that awakens something new in her. And so her life begins to change...

All The Lovers In The Night is acute and insightful, entertaining and captivating, pulsing and poetic, modern and shocking. It’s another unforgettable novel from Japan’s most exciting writer.

Read it? Loved it? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #HBOTM.

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Listen to the event on Hay Player

Further reading

How a poet writes a novel, The Atlantic 

"I find the hells young people go through compelling", iNews 

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.

ABOUT HAY FESTIVAL'S BOOK OF THE MONTH

Hay Festival's Book of the Month is our monthly recommendation of a book we love and think holds particular resonance. This is our chance to celebrate great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry year-round.

Throughout the month, we'll share interesting links and articles relating to our selection on social media using #HBOTM and invite you all to get involved with your questions and comments.

If you'd like to recommend a book for consideration, please share on social media using #HBOTM.

Happy reading!