South of the Border, West of the Sun

Front Cover
Random House, Oct 10, 2011 - Fiction - 192 pages

A moving, thoughtful story of long-lost love and second chances.

Growing up in the suburbs in post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father's record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch.

Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting, he has found happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped in mystery. Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at risk all he has in the present.

'Casablanca remade Japanese style...It is dream-like writing, laden with scenes which have the radiance of a poem' The Times

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MandaTheStrange - LibraryThing

Although it is a small book, it provoked many feelings and I felt that it was quite different to Murakami's other novels. I usually can relate very much to Murakami's protagonists, however to be ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - modioperandi - LibraryThing

South of the Border, West of the Sun is one of Murakami's better works, if only because it eschews all that is unnecessary. It has long struck me (and as a diehard Murakami fan from a young age, it ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

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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