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Harper Collins
01 March 2024
"'Compelling, delightfully weird, often uncomfortable' PANDORA SYKES

'Unputdownable, breathtakingly original' ERIN KELLY

'I have been glued to Asako Yuzuki's new novel Butter’ NIGEL SLATER

‘A full-fat, Michelin-starred treat’ THE TIMES

The cult Japanese bestseller about a female gourmet cook and serial killer and the journalist intent on cracking her case, inspired by a true story.

There are two things that I can simply not tolerate: feminists and margarine.

Gourmet cook Manako Kajii sits in Tokyo Detention Centre convicted of the serial murders of lonely businessmen, who she is said to have seduced with her delicious home cooking. The case has captured the nation’s imagination but Kajii refuses to speak with the press, entertaining no visitors. That is, until journalist Rika Machida writes a letter asking for her recipe for beef stew and Kajii can’t resist writing back.

Rika, the only woman in her news office, works late each night, rarely cooking more than ramen. As the visits unfold between her and the steely Kajii, they are closer to a masterclass in food than journalistic research. Rika hopes this gastronomic exchange will help her soften Kajii but it seems that she might be the one changing. With each meal she eats, something is awakening in her body, might she and Kaji have more in common than she once thought?

Inspired by the real case of the convicted con woman and serial killer, ""The Konkatsu Killer"", Asako Yuzuki’s Butter is a vivid, unsettling exploration of misogyny, obsession, romance and the transgressive pleasures of food in Japan.

'Luscious … I devoured this' IMOGEN CRIMP

'A salty morsel with one hell of a bite’ ALICE SLATER

‘Nothing short of ingenious’ INEWS

‘Ambitious and unsettling’ GUARDIAN

'It isn’t entirely clear whether to read the novel or devour it’ OBSERVER"

Imprint:   Harper Collins
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 29mm
Weight:   270g
ISBN:   9780008679231
ISBN 10:   0008679231
Pages:   304
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Asako Yuzuki was born in Tokyo in 1981. She won the All Yomimono Award for New Writers for her story, 'Forget Me, Not Blue', which appeared in her debut, Shuuten No Anoko, published in 2010. She won the Yamamoto Shugoro Award in 2015 for Nile Perch No Joshikai. She has been nominated multiple times for the Naoko Prize, and her novels have been adapted for television, radio and film.

Reviews for Butter

'Compelling, delightfully weird, often uncomfortable … Butter will churn your brain and your stomach with panache’ Pandora Sykes, author of How Do We Know We're Doing It Right? ‘An unputdownable, breathtakingly original novel … I will be spoon-feeding Butter to every woman I know’ Erin Kelly, author of The Skeleton Key 'I have been glued to Asako Yuzuki’s new novel Butter … contains delicious descriptions' Nigel Slater, Guardian Feast newsletter ‘Exuberant, indulgent romp of a novel … Butter is a full-fat, Michelin-starred treat that moves seamlessly between an Angry Young Woman narrative and an engrossing detective drama and back again. Yuzuki has crafted an almost Dickensian cast of fleshy characters, with just as many surprise connections … Let this book bring you under its spell’ The Times ‘Ambitious and unsettling … a thought-provoking and surprisingly feelgood take on friendship, transgressive pleasures, and society’s impossibly contradictory expectations of women’ Guardian 'Yuzuki uses luscious food writing to fuel a nuanced and intelligent exploration of contemporary womanhood … I devoured this dark and delicious novel' Imogen Crimp, author of A Very Nice Girl ‘A delectable meditation on appetite, fatphobia and misogyny in modern Japan … a salty morsel with one hell of a bite’ Alice Slater, author of Death of A Bookseller ‘Yuzuki evokes a cold and alienating world’ Financial Times ‘This Japanese novel, which has become quite the cult phenomenon, is nothing short of ingenious’ iNews ‘A book that interrogates misogyny and obsession through the prism of food’ Monocle ‘Food, gender and violence are explored in this delicious novel’ i-D 'It'll make your mouth water' Irish Independent

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