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Recommended Haruki Murakami Novels

Maybe some of you have already known about Haruki Murakami (村上春樹), the famous contemporary Japanese writer. His stories and books have been best sellers in Japan, and his works were translated into 50 languages, and millions of copies of which are sold across the world. So, don’t worry if you can’t read Japanese! His work also claimed the World Fantasy Award, and the Frank 0’Connor International Short Story Award. I love some of his works too, and I want to introduce our readers to my personal recommendations. It might work with you too!

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Photo: screenpunk on Flickr

Murakami’s most notable works are:

  1. A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)
  2. Norwegian Wood (1987)
  3. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994-1995)
  4. Kafka on the Shore (2002)
  5. 1Q84 (2009-2010)

Here is my personal recommendations for you!

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running [走ることについて語るときに僕の語ること]

It reads as “Hashiru Koto Ni Tsuite Kataru Toki Ni Boku no Kataru Koto”. The literal meaning is, “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”. Actually, this is not a novel, but an essay of his interest and participation in long distance running. If you read this book, you will imagine what kind of person he actually is, and you will be able to understand what he thinks about. There is a similar book titled “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” written by Raymond Carver.

There are some famous quotations from this book such as,

  1. Pain in inevitable. Suffering is optional.
  2. I just wanted to write something about running, but I realized that to write about my running is to write about my writing. It’s parallel thing in me.

Norwegian Wood [ノルウェイの森]

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Read it as “Norwegian Wood”. This novel is a nostalgic story of loss and burgeoning sexuality. It is one of the best selling novels by Haruki Murakami in 1987. There are also some famous quotes from this book such as,

  1. Nobody likes being alone that much. I don’t go out of my way to make friends, that’s all. It just leads to disappointment.
  2. I want you always to remember me. Will you remember that I existed, and that I stood next to you here like this?

Kafka on The Shore [海辺のカフカ]

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It reads as “Kafka on The Shore”, which is also one of the best selling novels of 2002. It has received mostly positive reviews and critical acclaim, including a spot on the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2005 and the World Fantasy Award. The story is about a fifteen year old protagonist and the story flows over parallel world and how he grows up. Violence and war are the subjects of this novel. There are some famous quotes from this novel such as,

  1. Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.



Photo: 发课 吴 on Flickr

This is my favorite one! It is about a young woman Aomame who enters a parallel world, which they call 1Q84. There are also the most famous quotes from this novel such as,

  1. Find me now. Before someone else does.
  2. If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there’s salvation in life. Even if you can’t get together with that person.

I am sure this summer you have a list of reading options. So visit your nearest store get the book and start!

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