Norwegian Wood or The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle? The top 5 Haruki Murakami books

This article is from 2014

*4haruki Murakami Books

credit: Elena Seibert

The Japanese author is set to appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

As the Edinburgh International Book Festival prepares to welcome the master of surrealism as he releases his thirteenth novel, we take a look at the celebrated Japanese author’s back catalogue

Norwegian Wood (1987)

In his fifth novel Murakami swapped the magic realism that marked his early work for a complex 60s-set love story with a narrative that sweeps along on a wave of affecting melancholy. This was the book that brought Murakami to the world’s attention.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994-5)

Toru Okada’s journey to find his missing cat is a metaphysical masterpiece that peers deep into Japan’s recent history. Interweaving threads are loaded with hugely compelling characters, while the tense prose shows Murakami at his very best.

after the quake (2000)

This collection of short stories was written in response to the 1995 Kobe earthquake. The spellbinding style pulls together characters not directly affected by the earthquake, but whose lives are immeasurably impacted by it.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (2008)

This memoir about the author’s passion for stretching his legs gives a welcoming insight into the mind of a storytelling genius. It covers Murakami’s time as a jazz club owner, his metamorphosis into a writer and the role running played in it all. Essential for any fan.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (2013)

Murakami’s latest follows the mass success of 2011 epic three-parter 1Q84. It tells the story of thirtysomething Tsukuru Tazaki’s attempts to discover why his high school friends abandoned him. First editions even come with a sticker pack to make your own cover.

Haruki Murakami: The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, 23 Aug, 3pm, £10 (£8); Haruki Murakami: Japan’s Greatest Living Author, 24 Aug, 6.30pm, £10 (£8); both events at Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is out 12 Aug from Harvill Secker, translated by Philip Gabriel.

Haruki Murakami

When it first appeared in English in 1997, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle instantly established Haruki Murakami as a major figure in world literature. Involving a trademark mix of Tokyo urban landscapes and dream imagery, the novel remains one of the Japanese writer’s most brilliant literary achievements. Murakami discusses…

Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami has been described as ‘Japan’s version of JD Salinger’ – a rarely-interviewed author with an enormous worldwide following thanks to books including Norwegian Wood and 1Q84. He joins us in Edinburgh for the worldwide English-language launch of his new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of…