Murakami is my favourite Japanese novelist. This is not a particularly difficult title to earn considering that he’s the only Japanese novelist I’ve ever read, but perhaps the title of “one of my favourite authors in general” will be more convincing.
I’ve read half-a-dozen of his books and have enjoyed every one. He blends the real world with fantasy and always leaves some questions left unanswered. He’s a marathon runner and music enthusiast, and the latter trait is strongly represented in all of the works of his I’ve read.
Kafka on the Shore is probably the best place to start (that’s where I did). I am currently awaiting the translation of his latest book 1Q84 into English. North American release date: September 2011.
April 7th, 2010 at 19:28
I just read Yasunari Kawabata’s “The Sound of the Mountain” (1970). Frankly, the only link to the description of Haruki is nationality, but I found it to be quite a stirring book that did a beautiful job of capturing a brief slice of a small family’s life. It was a mediative read, replete with some wonderfully evocative imagery. I think I’ll check out Kafka on the Shore–I suspect I’d enjoy it more than Kafka!
April 18th, 2010 at 06:41
Oh, how unfortunate you are. 1Q84 was released in Korea a long time ago, but I have not read it, even though I am a big fan of Haruki. Many publishig companies of litrerature were crazy about Haruki, because his name guarantees a bestseller. They competed with a prepaid royalty and one of them paid Haruki a ridiculously huge amount of money. Anyway, my favourite ones are Kafka on the Shore and Norwegian Wood.
April 18th, 2010 at 09:24
Yes, the Korean translation was almost immediate. Lucky! And you’re right: Norwegian Wood is also fantastic. I left my copy in Greece when I finished it 😦
Norwegian Wood at Chapters: