Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Mc-Pa)

Murakami, Haruki

japanese west inside pull

( Japanese, 1949– )

World-class novelist, translator (though not so far of his own work), and social commentator, Murakami ranks as one of the most fascinating Japanese writers available to the West. Surreal, homely, macabre, obsessed with the great issues of love, sex, and death, he twists reality, time, and memory to create worlds that pull the reader inside them and then proceed to pull the reader inside out. In Japan he is an idol, his novels sell in vast numbers, his breakthrough work, Norwegian Wood (2000), selling over four million. Closely aligned with Japanese tradition and the Japanese world-view, Murakami can seem alien in his concepts. But persevere. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1997), his first big success in the West, is a masterpiece, though The Elephant Vanishes (1993) and South of the Border, West of the Sun (1999), may be less frantic introductions to his slightly bizarre, genre-bending, narrative-driven work.

Iain Banks, Will Self, David Mitchell  KF

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