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Haruki Murakami

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The Resume

    (January 12, 1949- )
    Born in Kyoto, Japan
    Wrote the novels 'Norwegian Wood' (1987), 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' (1995), 'Kafka on the Shore' (2002), and '1Q84' (2010)
    Published the short story collections 'The Elephant Vaishes' (1993) and 'Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman' (2010)

Why he might be annoying:

    He considers his first two novels, 'Hear the Wind Sing' (1979) and 'Pinball, 1973' (1981) 'immature' and 'flimsy.'
    He said about the success of 'Norwegian Wood,' which sold three million copies in Japan, 'That was the most unhappy time of my life.'
    To avoid being mobbed in public, he left Japan for eight years, living in Europe and the US.
    He called himself 'the black sheep in the Japanese literary world,' with much of the national literary establishment considering his works un-Japanese.

Why he might not be annoying:

    He learned to read English from paperbacks -- especially crime novels -- that he bought from used book stores.
    A fan of the Yakult Swallows, he had the epiphany that led to his becoming a writer while attending a Swallows game.
    He took up running at age 33, becoming an enthusiastic competitor in marathons and triathlons.
    He translated works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Truman Capote, Raymond Chandler, and John Irving into Japanese.
    He donated €80,000 from a literary prize to victims of the Tohoku earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear plant disaster (2011).
    In a poll of literary experts by the newspaper Asahi Shimbun, '1Q84' was named the best novel published during the reign of Emperor Akihito.

Credit: C. Fishel

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