|Haruki Murakami - January 12, 1949|
In honor of Haruki Murakami turning 65 this month, I am reading Wind Up Bird Chronicle.
Synopsis: Japan's most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II. In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria.
Last year, one of the gals over at Well Trained Mind introduced me to Murakami through his book 1Q84 and I was hooked. And since we are armchair traveling through Japan this month, it is a perfect time to read more of his stories.
Haruki was born January 12, 1949 in Tokyo, Japan. He began writing at the age of 29, inspired by all things, a baseball game. Hear the Wind Sing, his first book in Trilogy of the Rat, was published in 1979 and he won the Gunzou Shinjin Sho, the Gunzo New Writer Award for new writers, established by Gunzo Magazine.
He soon followed up with two more books in his Trilogy of the Rat: Pinball 1973 in 1979 and A Wild Sheep Chase in 1982. He won the Noma Bungei Shinjin Sho (Noma Literary Award for New Writers) for A Wild Sheep Chase in 1982. During this period of time he sold his bar, Jazz Cats, which he had opened in 1974, and began writing full time.
In 1985 he wrote Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the Year for which he won the Junichi Tanizaki Award. In 1991 he moved to the United States where he taught at Princeton and also wrote The Wind Up Bird Chronicle which was published in 1994. He won the prestigious Yomiuri Literary Award.
He moved back to Japan in 1995, where he's gone on to have published numerous books including Kafka on the Shore, a short story collection - Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, and his latest in 2011, 1Q84.
Check out his facebook page maintained by his publishers Alfred Knopf for articles and interviews.
Join me in reading Wind Up Bird Chronicle or one of his many other fascinating stories.
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