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Haruki Murakami (b1949)

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto on 12 January 1949. He began writing at the age of 24. The impulse to do so first struck him, he says, during a baseball match, at the very moment when a famous player hit a home run. He went straight home and started to write.

His first book, Hear the Wind Sing, was published in 1979 and won the Gunzou Shinjin Sho, an award for new writers. At that point he was running a jazz bar called Peter Cat in a quiet corner of Tokyo.

In 1981, he started to write for a living and the following year published one of his most extraordinary novels, A Wild Sheep Chase, which bears all the Murakami hallmarks of superb writing, compelling plot, zany happenings and erotic moments. It was an extraordinary achievement for a relatively inexperienced writer, especially because it was strongly original in style and content.

There was a three-year gap before the publication of his next work, Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, his most metaphysical, and perhaps strangest, novel. Three years after that, in 1988, came the sequel to A Wild Sheep Chase: Dance, Dance, Dance. By this time his reputation as Japan’s most popular contemporary literary novelist was assured.




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