In 1978, Haruki Murakami was 29 and running a jazz bar in downtown
Tokyo. One April day, the impulse to write a novel came to him
suddenly while watching a baseball game. That first novel, Hear the
Wind Sing, won a new writers' award and was published the following
year. More followed, including A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled
Wonderland and the End of the World, but it was Norwegian Wood,
published in 1987, which turned Murakami from a writer into a
phenomenon. His books became bestsellers, were translated into many
languages, including English, and the door was thrown wide open to
Murakami's unique and addictive fictional universe.
Murakami writes with admirable discipline, producing ten pages a day, after which he runs ten kilometres (he began long-distance running in 1982 and has participated in numerous marathons and races), works on translations, and then reads, listens to records and cooks. His passions colour his non-fiction output, from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running to Absolutely On Music, and they also seep into his novels and short stories, providing quotidian moments in his otherwise freewheeling flights of imaginative inquiry. In works such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84 and Men Without Women, his distinctive blend of the mysterious and the everyday, of melancholy and humour, continues to enchant readers, ensuring Murakami's place as one of the world's most acclaimed and well-loved writers.
Wonderful... Magical and outlandish
A magnificently bewildering achievement... Brilliantly conceived, bold in its surreal scope, sexy and driven by a snappy plot... Exuberant storytelling
*Independent on Sunday*
Cool, fluent and addictive
Addictive... Exhilarating... A pleasure