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Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949. Following the publication of his first novel in Japanese in 1979, he sold the jazz bar he ran with his wife and became a full-time writer. It was with the publication of Norwegian Wood - which has to date sold more than 4 million copies in Japan alone - that the author was truly catapulted into the limelight. Known for his surrealistic world of mysterious (and often disappearing) women, cats, earlobes, wells, Western culture, music and quirky first-person narratives, he is now Japan’s best-known novelist abroad. Nine novels, three short story collections and one work of non-fiction are currently available in English translation.
I find writing novels a challenge, writing stories a joy. If writing novels is like planting a forest, then writing short stories is more like planting a garden.
This is a mesmerising mystery story about friendship from the internationally bestselling author of Norwegian Wood and 1Q84. Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning 'red pine', and Oumi, 'blue sea', while the girls' names were Shirane, 'white root', and Kurono, 'black field'. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it. One day Tsukuru Tazaki's friends announced that they didn't want to see him, or talk to him, ever again. Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago.
'All I did was go to the library to borrow some books'. On his way home from school, the young narrator of The Strange Library finds himself wondering how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. He pops into the local library to see if it has a book on the subject. This is his first mistake. Led to a special 'reading room' in a maze under the library by a strange old man, he finds himself imprisoned with only a sheep man, who makes excellent donuts, and a girl, who can talk with her hands, for company. His mother will be worrying why he hasn't returned in time for dinner and the old man seems to have an appetite for eating small boy's brains. How will he escape?
Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning 'red pine', and Oumi, 'blue sea', while the girls' names were Shirane, 'white root', and Kurono, 'black field'. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it. One day Tsukuru Tazaki's friends announced that they didn't want to see him, or talk to him, ever again. Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago.
Inspired by George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four , 1Q84 is a magnificent and fully-imagined work of fiction - both a thriller and a moving love-story . It is a world from which the reader emerges stunned and altered. Book Three of 1Q84 is the final volume of Murakami's magnum opus. In Japan, Books One and Two were published on the same day with Book Three following a year later. All three books were received with huge excitement and became instant bestsellers. The UK publication reflects the pattern of the original publication with Books One and Two being released in one volume and Book Three following in a separate edition.
In order to reflect the experience of 1Q84's first readers, Harvill Secker is publishing Books One and Two in one beautifully designed volume and Book Three in a separate edition. A long-awaited treat for his fans, 1Q84 is also a thrilling introduction to the unique world of Murakami's imagination. This hypnotically addictive novel is a work of startling originality and, as the title suggests, a mind-bending ode to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four . (The number 9 in Japanese is pronounced like the letter 'Q'). The year is 1984. Aomame sits in a taxi on the expressway in Tokyo. Her work is not the kind which can be discussed in public but she is in a hurry to carry out an assignment and, with the traffic at a stand-still, the driver proposes a solution. She agrees, but as a result of her actions starts to feel increasingly detached from the real world. She has been on a top-secret mission, and her next job will lead her to encounter the apparently superhuman founder of a religious cult. Meanwhile, Tengo is leading a nondescript life but wishes to become a writer. He inadvertently becomes involved in a strange affair surrounding a literary prize to which a mysterious seventeen-year-old girl has submitted her remarkable first novel. It seems to be based on her own experiences and moves readers in unusual ways. Can her story really be true? Both Aomame and Tengo notice that the world has grown strange; both realise that they are indispensable to each other. While their stories influence one another, at times by accident and at times intentionally, the two come closer and closer to intertwining.
‘Deeply philosophical and teasingly perplexing, it is impossible to put down’ Daily Telegraph
Ten books down the line and suddenly the critics are taking note of this exceptional writer. Surreal, highly imaginative and gloriously inventive, this follows the very strange journeys of two remarkable characters. You’ve got to read him to appreciate there is little I can say except … you’ve got to read him.Comparison: Audrey Niffenegger, David Mitchell, Yann Martel.Similar this month: None but try Terry Pratchett.
Trailed as his most important book for 10 years follows the mysteriously intertwined lives of Kafka Tamura a 15 year old runaway and Nakata a tracker of lost cats
Coming this October:Killing Commendatore, the much-anticipated new novel from Haruki MurakamiThe twenty-four stories that make up Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman generously express the incomparable Haruki Murakami's mastery of the form.Here are animated crows, a criminal monkey, and an ice man, as well as the dreams that shape us and the things we might wish for. From the surreal to the mundane, these stories exhibit Murakami's ability to transform the full range of human experience in ways that are instructive, surprising, and entertaining.
Coming this October:Killing Commendatore, the much-anticipated new novel from Haruki MurakamiStunning and elegiac, Norwegian Wood first propelled Haruki Murakami into the forefront of the literary scene.Toru, a serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. As Naoko retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman. A magnificent coming-of-age story steeped in nostalgia, Norwegian Wood blends the music, the mood, and the ethos that were the sixties with a young man's hopeless and heroic first love.
Coming this October:Killing Commendatore, the much-anticipated new novel from Haruki MurakamiIn this haunting work of journalistic investigation, Haruki Murakami tells the story of the horrific terrorist attack on Japanese soil that shook the entire world. On a clear spring day in 1995, five members of a religious cult unleashed poison gas on the Tokyo subway system. In attempt to discover why, Haruki Murakmi talks to the people who lived through the catastrophe, and in so doing lays bare the Japanese psyche. As he discerns the fundamental issues that led to the attack, Murakami paints a clear vision of an event that could occur anytime, anywhere.
Coming this October:Killing Commendatore, the much-anticipated new novel from Haruki MurakamiQuirky and utterly captivating, A Wild Sheep Chase is Murakami at his astounding best.An advertising executive receives a postcard from a friend and casually appropriates the image for an advertisement. What he doesn't realize is that included in the scene is a mutant sheep with a star on its back, and in using this photo he has unwittingly captured the attention of a man who offers a menacing ultimatum: find the sheep or face dire consequences. Thus begins a surreal and elaborate quest that takes readers from Tokyo to the remote mountains of northern Japan, where the unnamed protagonist has a surprising confrontation with his demons.
With Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami gives us a novel every bit as ambitious and expansive as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which has been acclaimed both here and around the world for its uncommon ambition and achievement, and whose still-growing popularity suggests that it will be read and admired for decades to come.This magnificent new novel has a similarly extraordinary scope and the same capacity to amaze, entertain, and bewitch the reader. A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddleyet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.Extravagant in its accomplishment, Kafka on the Shore displays one of the worlds truly great storytellers at the height of his powers.
With the same deadpan mania and genius for dislocation that he brought to his internationally acclaimed novels A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami makes this collection of stories a determined assault on the normal. A man sees his favorite elephant vanish into thin air; a newlywed couple suffers attacks of hunger that drive them to hold up a McDonald's in the middle of the night; and a young woman discovers that she has become irresistible to a little green monster who burrows up through her backyard.By turns haunting and hilarious, The Elephant Vanishes is further proof of Murakami's ability to cross the border between separate realities -- and to come back bearing treasure.Some of the stories in this collection originally appeared in the following publicatons: The Magazine (Mobil Corp.): "e;The Fall of the Roman Empire, the 1881 Indian Uprising, Hitler's Invasion of Poland, and the Realm of the Raging Winds"e; (in a previous translation; translated in this volume by Alfred Birnbaum), The New Yorker: "e;TV People"e; and "e;The Wind-up Bird and Tuesday's Women"e; (translated by Alfred Birnbaum), "e;The Elephant Vanishes"e; and "e;Sleep"e; (translated by Jay Rubin), and "e;Barn Burning"e; (in a previous translation; translated in this volume by Alfred Birnbaum) Playboy: "e;The Second Bakery Attack"e; (translated by Jay Rubin, January 1992).The elephant vanishes / stories by Haruki Murakami; translated from the Japanese by Alfred Birnbaum and Jay Rubin.1st Vintage International ed.
The year is 1Q84. This is the real world, there is no doubt about that. But in this world, there are two moons in the sky. In this world, the fates of two people, Tengo and Aomame, are closely intertwined. They are each, in their own way, doing something very dangerous. And in this world, there seems no way to save them both. Something extraordinary is starting. Shortlisted for the 2013 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Book Two of 1Q84 ended with Aomame standing on the Metropolitan Expressway with a gun between her lips. She knows she is being hunted, and that she has put herself in terrible danger in order to save the man she loves. But things are moving forward, and Aomame does not yet know that she and Tengo are more closely bound than ever. Tengo is searching for Aomame, and he must find her before this world's rules loosen up too much. He must find her before someone else does.
The year is 1Q84. This is the real world, there is no doubt about that. But in this world, there are two moons in the sky. In this world, the fates of two people, Tengo and Aomame, are closely intertwined. They are each, in their own way, doing something very dangerous. And in this world, there seems no way to save them both. Something extraordinary is starting.
When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire - to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past.
INCLUDES A READING GUIDE Toru Okada's cat has disappeared and this has unsettled his wife, who is herself growing more distant every day. Then there are the increasingly explicit telephone calls he has started receiving. As this compelling story unfolds, the tidy suburban realities of Okada's vague and blameless life, spent cooking, reading, listening to jazz and opera and drinking beer at the kitchen table, are turned inside out, and he embarks on a bizarre journey, guided (however obscurely) by a succession of characters, each with a tale to tell.
`Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional' A compelling mediation on the power of running and a fascinating insight into the life of this internationally bestselling writer. In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he'd completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and on his writing. Equal parts travelogue, training log and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and settings ranging from Tokyo's Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston. By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, this is a must-read for fans of this masterful yet private writer as well as for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in distance running. 'There can never have been a book quite like this memoir of running and writing before. In its self-contained way, it's nothing less than an inspiration' Evening Standard 'Hugely enjoyable...You don't have to have run a marathon to be captivated' Sunday Telegraph 'Comical, charming and philosophical...an excellent memoir' GQ
Cats slink across the pages; the seasons are marked by cherry blossom and Japanese maple; spaghetti strands or telephone cords separate the days; and a generous selection of quotations and extracts from Murakami's novels and stories appear on almost every page to inspire, amuse or entertain. This is a diary like no other, faithful to all that is witty, surreal, sexy and beautiful in Murakami's work. A must-have for fans of Murakami, fans of Vintage fiction and fans of unique design, this diary will appeal to everyone as a quirky companion for 2009.
From the bestselling author of Kafka on the Shore comes this rich and revelatory memoir about writing and running and the integral impact both have made on his life. Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers Murakami's four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon. Settings range from Tokyo, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston, among young women who outpace him. Through this marvelous lens of sport emerges a cornucopia of memories and insights: the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer, his triumphs and disappointments, his passion for vintage LPs, and the experience, after age fifty, of having seen his race times improve and then fall back.
The midnight hour approaches in an almost empty all-night diner. Mari sips her coffee and glances up from a book as a young man, a musician, intrudes on her solitude. Both have missed the last train home. The musician has plans to rehearse with his jazz band all night, Mari is equally unconcerned and content to read, smoke and drink coffee until dawn. They realise they've been acquainted through Eri, Mari's beautiful sister. The musician soon leaves with a promise to return before dawn. Shortly afterwards Mari will be interrupted a second time by a girl from the Alphaville Hotel; a Chinese prostitute has been hurt by a client, the girl has heard Mari speaks fluent Chinese and requests her help. Meanwhile Eri is at home and sleeps a deep, heavy sleep that is 'too perfect, too pure' to be normal; pulse and respiration at the lowest required level. She has been in this soporfic state for two months; Eri has become the classic myth - a sleeping beauty. But tonight as the digital clock displays 00:00 a faint electrical crackle is perceptible, a hint of life flickers across the TV screen, though the television's plug has been pulled. Murakami, acclaimed master of the surreal, returns with a stunning new novel, where the familiar can become unfamiliar after midnight, even to those that thrive in small hours. With After Dark we journey beyond the twilight. Strange nocturnal happenings, or a trick of the night?