Haruki Murakami - Japanese writer He became a classic during his lifetime, earned many Japanese and world awards, became famous all over the world for his artistic and scientific books, translated into more than 50 languages. Sometimes he is confused with a less popular writer of the same name - Ryu Murakami.

haruki murakami best books
photo: Open Culture


In Japan, it is not customary to talk too much about your personal life, so little is known about Murakami. He was born in 1949 near Kyoto. His father is a Japanese school teacher. Grandfather is the abbot in a Buddhist temple. As a child, Haruki lived in Kobe and was interested in foreign literature, music.

Haruki Murakami Biography
photo from konnichiwa website

In 1968, Murakami entered a prestigious university in the department of classical drama. It was boring for him to study according to the old scripts, so he defended his diploma on a more interesting topic - modern dramaturgy.

In 1971 he married a classmate - Yoko Takahashi. They have been together for over 40 years. The couple has no children. The writer's lover is an actress and singer.

In 1974, Murakami opened jazz bar "Peter Kat". It was here, in the hours after closing, that the first drafts of future bestsellers appeared. However, the very thought of writing came to Haruki during a baseball game.

In 1979 he published his debut work - "Listen to the Song of the Wind". Although now Murakami says that his first books weak, then he immediately received several Japanese awards. After three successful jobs, Murakami closed the bar and devoted himself to literature.

Books brought income. With the money earned, Murakami was able to travel around the usa and Europe. After a trip to Greece and Italy, he wrote "Norwegian Forest", thanks to which the name of the writer was recognized all over the world. Murakami returned to his homeland in 1996, but two years later he moved to London. He later began teaching in the US. In 2003 he visited Russia.

Best Books

Haruki Murakami wrote 14 novels, published 12 collections of short stories, and was actively engaged in translation activities. All his works have found the highest marks of readers and critics.

List of books by Haruki Murakami

Wonderland without brakes and the end of the world

On Russian online portals, it was this novel that received the greatest recognition, distinguished by its unique structure. The book develops two stories in parallel: about Wonderland and the end of the world. Chapters alternate through one. The book is dedicated to the human subconscious, soul, personality.

Haruki Murakami Wonderland without brakes and the end of the world

Sheep hunting

This is the last novel "The Rat Trilogy"with which the creative path of the writer began. The plot is based on a Japanese legend in which the soul of a sheep inhabits human bodies to bring goodness and order to Earth.

Haruki Murakami hunting sheep

There is a lot of mysticism in the book. You can read it without reading the rest of the novels of the trilogy: the plot is not connected. Murakami states that he doesn't know what the book is about. Readers are forced to speculate on their own.

Norwegian Forest

Despite the name, there are almost no descriptions of nature in the text. Many fans consider the book an autobiography, but the writer refrains from commenting.

Haruki Murakami Norwegian Forest

The main character is Japanese Watanabewho moved to Hamburg. His friend died in his student years. This death has a huge impact on the lives of Watanabe and his girlfriend Naoko (the girlfriend of a deceased comrade). At some point, he realizes that something strange is happening to his soul. Considerable attention is paid to the topic of suicide.

Interesting Facts

The work of Haruki Murakami is of interest and controversy.

Almost every work has elements of fantasy. The writer claims that in his favorite stories, ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary situations.

For example, one of his characters read dreams from the skulls of dead unicorns.

Murakami often writes dystopias. One of his books is called "1Q84" with a reference to Orwell's classic novel 1984.

Murakami - postmodernist. The position of the author is always not clear, he argues in a detached way.

Murakami loves jazz and rock and rollwhich has repeatedly reflected in his work. By the way, there are 40 jazz records in Murakami's collection. The writer claims to listen to them for 000 hours every day.

The novels often feature animals, more often cats. V "Kafka on the Beach" the main character understood cat language. Usually animals in Murakami's books are somehow connected with mysticism.

The screen version

The first (1980) and the latest film adaptation (2018) are separated by almost 40 years. The novels are philosophical, so writing a script based on them is difficult. However, several times the best Japanese directors took on film adaptations of novels. Films were released worldwide and translated into different languages. The best adaptations of Haruki Murakami:

«Hear the song of the wind» 1980 (based on the novel of the same name);

«Norwegian Forest» 2010 (based on the novel of the same name);

«Burning"2018 (based on the story "Burn down the barn").

Most likely, in the future, viewers will see film adaptations of other novels. More interesting articles in our journal.

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