Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami graduated from Waseda University, Tokyo, in 1975. Widely considered one of Japan’s most important 20th-century novelists. His often solitary, withdrawn, and world-weary protagonists are generally stripped of Japanese tradition. Frequently called postmodern, his fiction, which often includes elements of surreal fantasy and is sprinkled with references to American popular culture, is cool and contemporary; his distinctive style is often characterized as “hard-boiled.” His first novel was Hear the Wind Sing (1979). Since then he has published such novels as Pinball 1973 (1980), A Wild Sheep Chase (1982), Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985), Norwegian Wood (1987), Dance, Dance, Dance (1988), The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (1995), The Sputnik Sweetheart (1999), and Kafka on the Shore (2002). He has also written short stories, e.g., those collected in The Elephant Vanishes (1993) and After the Quake (2002), and done translations. His first nonfiction book, Underground (2001), is an oral history of the 1995 gas attack by religious extremists in the Tokyo subway and its relation to the Japanese psyche.

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