Our January discussion will be about Haruki Murakami; a Japanese writer whose books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally. His work has been translated into 50 languages and has sold millions of copies outside his native country. His work has received numerous awards, including the World Fantasy Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, and the Jerusalem Prize. His fiction, sometimes criticized by Japan’s literary establishment as un-Japanese was influenced by Western writers from Chandler to Vonnegut. It is frequently surrealistic and melancholic or fatalistic, marked by a Kafkaesque rendition of the “recurrent themes of alienation and loneliness”. Steven Poole from The Guardian praised Murakami as, “among the world’s greatest living novelists” for his works and achievements. Read any work by Murakami; bring a brown bag lunch at 11:30; discussion starts at noon.
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