Murakami is one of the few authors that leaves me speechless. I have read a couple of his fictional books and they always leave me in a vacuum because they are so abundant, full, accomplished in every facet that they leave an immense emptiness when I finished reading them. The period of emptiness persists until the thoughts, experiences, and everything else I’ve picked up during my reading, fades and lands like Autumn leaves at my feet and I am able to examine them in my own sweet time.
Merely stating that Murakami is a post-World War 2, Japanese author is oversimplifying. To Westerners, he is Japanese, but to the Japanese literary establishment, he is quite un-Japanese. However, many agree that he is both an important author in postmodern literature and one of the greatest contemporary authors.
One facet that I truly appreciate about Murakami (born 1949) is that he has lived outside of writing. He is the complete opposite of those authors, who began writing before that took solid foods and have always existed in a literary (writing) environment. Murakami came from an intellectual family, but has worked in a record store, owned a coffee house and jazz bar – and now he is a marathon runner.
On his website, which is sophisticated and a treasure trove of information, there is a wonderful photo of his desk.