Starting to Read First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami

I picked up a copy of First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami. After reading the first two short stories in the collection (there are eight stories), I now want to talk about them. The stories are unexpectedly enjoyable.

I think I first heard about Murakami on Writer’s and Company, a radio show hosted by Eleanor Wachtel on CBC. I think she was interviewing him about his book, Norwegian Wood. Unfortunately, I don’t really remember how his name came to become stuck in my head.

What strikes me as particularly unique about his writing is how light it feels. After reading one his short stories, I’m left with a feeling of simply having just read a story. I want to find some depth in it, but I don’t have to.

Credit to the translators. I know no Japanese but the translation doesn’t read as sharply as the sound of Japanese spoken does to my English-trained ears. There’s an airy gentleness about the writing, unlike anything I can remember reading. If it were a waterway, it’d be a creek, or maybe a lagoon. Probably a creek, though, because the writing goes somewhere because it’s used to tell a story.

I know nothing more about Murakami or his writing than his name and what I’ve read so far. His website is somewhat scant. I’m particularly interested in reading critical analyses of his work because there likely is more to his work than I’m taking away. I feel like I’m seeing only one face of a box.

Please leave a comment below if you’d like to discuss First Person Singular or if you’ve anything you’d like to share about Murakami and his writing.


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