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Murakami in 2005, giving a lecture at MIT. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work...

Murakami in 2005, giving a lecture at MIT. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work being translated into 50 languages and selling millions birthday stories haruki murakami pdf copies outside his native country. He has also translated into Japanese English works by writers ranging from Raymond Carver to J. His fiction, still criticized by Japan’s literary establishment as un-Japanese, was influenced by Western writers from Chandler to Vonnegut by way of Brautigan.

It is frequently surrealistic and melancholic or fatalistic, marked by a Kafkaesque rendition of the “recurrent themes of alienation and loneliness” he weaves into his narratives. He is also considered an important figure in postmodern literature. Steven Poole of The Guardian praised Murakami as “among the world’s greatest living novelists” for his works and achievements.

He is an only child. His father was the son of a Buddhist priest, and his mother the daughter of an Osaka merchant. Since childhood, Murakami similarly to Kōbō Abe has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western as well as Russian music and literature.

He grew up reading a wide range of works by European and American writers, such as Franz Kafka, Gustave Flaubert, Charles Dickens, Kurt Vonnegut, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Richard Brautigan and Jack Kerouac. These Western influences distinguish Murakami from the majority of other Japanese writers. Murakami studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met his wife, Yoko.

His first job was at a record store, much like Toru Watanabe, the narrator of Norwegian Wood. Shortly before finishing his studies, Murakami opened a coffee house and jazz bar, Peter Cat, in Kokubunji, Tokyo, which he ran with his wife, from 1974 to 1981. The couple decided not to have children.

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