By Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori (translator),

Book cover of Earthlings

Book description

Natsuki isn't like the other girls. As youths, she and her cousin Yuu spent the summers in the wild Nagano mountains, hoping for a spaceship to transport her home. When a terrible sequence of events threatens to part the cousins for ever, they make a promise: survive, no matter what.…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Earthlings as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is one of the most compelling magical realism stories I’ve read lately.

Set in Japan, mostly in a family home in the mountains (once used as a breeding ground for silkworms, the young Natsuki forms a bond with her childhood friend, Yuu, that’s swiftly ended when the two children are caught having sex and then separated until, years later as adults, they are brought back together (this time with Natsuki’s husband.

The three want to escape the life-stifling hold of the Earthlings and their baby-producing factory, and take refuge in Natsuki and Yuu’s childhood fantasy of being aliens. Isolated…

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