Articles


Pop Master


Outside looking in
Author in Focus
Garbage Dissect Our Modern Age

Break on through
The elusive Murakami

The Postmodern in Murakamis Novels
Terrorism before WTC
Japanese writer probes souls dark kingdom
Big in Japan
The healer
Murakami shares his thougts with students
A Japanese Novelist in Search of Lost Ideals
Inner space
Haruki Murakami does Seattle
Overview of the hard-boiled fiction of hm
The other Speech
dancing as fast as he can
Tokyo Prose
A Voice from Postmodern Japan
The American Scene
Hi Mr Haruki Murakami
The Return from the Lost world
Presents from the dead


Paul Constant
Author in Focus
   
     
  2002
  Elliot Bay Book Company

How often do you experience a book that is so strange and wonderful that it affects your dreams? Very few novels can influence the dreams of their readers in an unadulterated way.
 
 
There is only one author whose work is commonly introduced to new readers with some variation of the sentence: "I dreamed about the characters and situations in this book the whole time I was reading it." Clearly, even in an art form as subjective as fiction, Haruki Murakami must be said to be on the trail of something very important.

Murakami is at the moment, arguably, Japan's best hope for winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. His taut prose style and consistent probing of important, powerful themes make him a global giant among novelists of his own generation. His novels are incredibly affecting and demand conversation.
 
 
It's not unusual to hear serious comparisons to Vladimir Nabokov in literary discussions about Haruki Murakami's body of work. How is it possible that a novelist could enjoy critical and popular appeal in Japan and America? And how should a reader begin to explore his strange, beautiful books?

The first, and some would say most daunting, challenge for an American reader approaching the canon of an international author is the issue of translation. Many translations are at best difficult, at worst debilitating. American readers of Murakami should harbor no such fears.
 
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