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Japans Most Successful Novelist Haruki Murakami Writer of Norwegian Wood

Updated on December 27, 2012

Haruki Murakami Author of Countless Great Novels like Kafka on the Shore, Hard-boiled-Wonderland and After Dark

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto, but he grew up in Kobe. His father was the son of a Buddhist priest. His mother was the daughter of a merchant from Osaka. Both gave lessons in Japanese literature. Murakami was always more interested in American literature. His writing is heavily infuenced by Western literature and especially by contemporary American literature. He distinguished himself from his Japanese contemporaries and became a cult writer untill he hit a huge breakthrough to the general public with the novel "Norwegian Wood."

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South of the Border, West of the Sun

South of the Border, West of the Sun
South of the Border, West of the Sun

This novel is my absolute favourite by Murakami. It's short and sad. The title refers to the song by Nat King Cole and an Inuit syndrome called Arctic hysteria. When he was young Hajime met Shimamoto a girl with a limp. They spend a lot of time together. Listening to music and talking. They lose contact but meet again at the age of 36. Hajime owns two jazz bars in a cool neighbourhood of Tokyo and is married and has two children. Simamoto starts appearing at random times in his clubs while she doesn't reveal anything about her life, she is clearly hiding something...

 

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel

Murakami won the Yomiuri Literary Award for this trilogy. Toru Okada is a regular guy whose cat dissapears. As the reader discovers more and more about him the realism slowly crumbles to the mythical. I love how Murakami starts out with a simple straightforward story with a distinct "Western world"feeling to them and then it explodes into a metaphysical tale that feels like it's heavily influenced by Japanese mythology (though I'm not an expert on that subject). This is without a doubt one of my favourite Murakami Novels.

 

1Q84 Trilogy

1Q84: 3 Volume Boxed Set (Vintage International)
1Q84: 3 Volume Boxed Set (Vintage International)

The two main characters of 1Q84 are a female assasin and a mathteacher who dreams of becoming a writer. It's a great Trilogy touching on murder, religion, violence, family and love.

 

Norwegian Wood - Murakami's Greatest Succes Worldwide

Norwegian Wood
Norwegian Wood

A nostalgic story, probably the reason it's not my personal favourite, filled with a sense of loss and repressed sexuality. The main character is Toru Watanabe and about his relationships with two girls named Naoko and Midori. Who are very different characters. It's set against the background of 1950 Tokyo with student rebellions going on. A movie based on the book was released in 2010. The title is a Beatles song and the favourite song of Naoko.

 

Norwegian Wood

CD + DVD of Norwegian Wood - the Beatles and Murakami

Rubber Soul
Rubber Soul

Beatles Album containing the Norwegian Wood song

 
Norwegian Wood
Norwegian Wood

DVD Norwegian Wood the movie

 

More Books by Murakami

After Dark
After Dark

Metropolitan Tokyo is the background against which Takahashi a trombone playing student meets the 19 year old student Mari who spends the night reading at Denny's.

 
Sputnik Sweetheart
Sputnik Sweetheart

Sumire, aspiring writer, meets Miu. She falls in love with the woman and they leave for Europe. Very "Auster" like novel actually.

 
Dance Dance Dance
Dance Dance Dance

a follow up to the awesome novel "A Wild Sheep Chase".

 

Documentary on Haruki Murakami

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