I just got a book by Haruki Murakami about birthdays. As my birthday is coming up in September, I thought it was appropriate – besides, an anthology of short stories about birthdays seems interesting enough.
Translated from Japanese, only one story and the introduction is by Murakami, but I thought it was a good way to get a start on this prize-winning Japanese author also famous for his translations of great works.
Its good to learn a bit about the author you’re reading, so here’s what I’ve dug up:
Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto, in 1949 but he spent much of his childhood in Kobe. His father was the son of a Buddhist priest. His mother was the daughter of a merchant from Osaka. They both taught Japanese literature.
Legend has it that on a warm day in Spring 1974 while watching a baseball game Murakami-san had the inspiration to write his first novel, later called Hear the Wind sing.
It won him his first Literary award and is part of The Trilogy of the Rat together with Pinball 1973 and A Wild Sheep Chase .
His career as an writer took off fast and a steady flow of Novels, Short Stories, Articles and Documentaries followed.
The fact that he spent a good part of his life outside Japan, mainly in the US and southern Europe, is maybe the key factor of his growing worldwide success.
The stories and settings are familiar to Westerners and yet there is a distinctive Japanese touch.
I’ll keep you posted on how the book goes.