Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Front Cover
Harvill Secker, 2006 - Short stories - 334 pages

A young man accompanies his cousin to the hospital to check an unusual hearing complaint and recalls a story of a woman put to sleep by tiny flies crawling inside her ear; a mirror appears out of nowhere and a night-watchman is unnerved as his reflection tries to take control of him; a couple's relationship is unbalanced after dining exclusively on exquisite crab while on holiday; a man follows instructions on the back of a postcard to apply for a job but an unknown password stands between him and his mysterious employer. In each one of these stories Murakami sidesteps the real and sprints for the surreal. Everyday events are transcended leaving the reader dazzled by this master of the craft.

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is Murakami's most eclectic collection of stories yet, and spans five years of his writing. The author has written an introduction to explain the diversity of his choice.

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User Review  - modioperandi - LibraryThing

When I read Murakami, I sometimes feel that he is living inside me taking notes on my feelings and my observations about people I’ve met years ago or even this morning. Then he transcribes them to ... Read full review

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User Review  - jnmegan - LibraryThing

Readers may be curious about Haruki Murakami due to the rave reviews of his full-length novels (ex: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84, Kafka on the Shore), and their popularity in translation ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

In 1978, Haruki Murakami was 29 and running a jazz bar in downtown Tokyo. One April day, the impulse to write a novel came to him suddenly while watching a baseball game. That first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won a new writers' award and was published the following year. More followed, including A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but it was Norwegian Wood, published in 1987, which turned Murakami from a writer into a phenomenon. His books became bestsellers, were translated into many languages, including English, and the door was thrown wide open to Murakami's unique and addictive fictional universe.

Murakami writes with admirable discipline, producing ten pages a day, after which he runs ten kilometres (he began long-distance running in 1982 and has participated in numerous marathons and races), works on translations, and then reads, listens to records and cooks. His passions colour his non-fiction output, from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running to Absolutely On Music, and they also seep into his novels and short stories, providing quotidian moments in his otherwise freewheeling flights of imaginative inquiry. In works such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84 and Men Without Women, his distinctive blend of the mysterious and the everyday, of melancholy and humour, continues to enchant readers, ensuring Murakami's place as one of the world's most acclaimed and well-loved writers.

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