Chapter Excerpt

Following the best-selling triumph of Kafka on the Shore—daringly original, wrote Steven Moore in The Washington Post Book World, and compulsively readable—comes a collection that generously expresses Murakami's mastery. From the surreal to the mundane, these stories exhibit his ability to transform the full range of human experience in ways that are instructive, surprising, and relentlessly entertaining. Here are animated crows, a criminal monkey, and an iceman, as well as the dreams that shape us and the things we might wish for. Whether during a chance reunion in Italy, a romantic exile in Greece, a holiday in Hawaii, or in the grip of everyday life, Murakami's characters confront grievous loss, or sexuality, or the glow of a firefly, or the impossible distances between those who ought to be the closest of all. While anyone can tell a story that resembles a dream, Laura Miller wrote in The New York Times Book Review, it's the rare artist, like this one, who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves—a feat performed anew twenty-four times in this career-spanning book. Haruki Murakami's work has been translated into thirty-eight languages. The most recent of his many honors is the Yomiuri Literary Prize, whose previous recipients include Yukio Mishima, Kenzaburo Ôe, and Kobo Abe. He lives near Tokyo. Critically acclaimed narrators Ellen Archer and Patrick Lawlor have recorded numerous audiobooks, including several New York Timesbestsellers.

Excerpted from Blind Willow Sleeping Woman: 24 Stories by Haruki Murakami
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