In the late 1980s, Japanese literature experienced the rise of a generation of women writers associated with girls' culture, marking a dramatic move toward gender equality in the literary establishment. Instead of emphasizing the feminist nature of texts by Ekuni Kaori (1964–), a writer of this generation, I argue for the need to focus on the failures and limitations of her texts. Moreover, I suggest that queer readings of failure and desperate love experienced by heartbroken women in Ekuni's works open up a new space of interpretation for women writers, offering unexpected lessons of survival in precarious times.