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About the book
  • Published: 2 July 2007
  • ISBN: 9780099488668
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $19.99

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

An eclectic, eccentiric and altogether brain-bending new collection of short stories from the cult Japanese author.

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 nightwatchman 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 his craft.

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is Murakami's most eclectic collection of stories to date, spanning five years of his writing. An introduction explains the diversity of the author's choice.

  • Pub date: 2 July 2007
  • ISBN: 9780099488668
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Haruki Murakami

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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Praise for Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

“An intimate pleasure”

The Times

“Weirdness fills these engrossing stories...Although Murakami's style and deadpan humour are wonderfully distinctive, his emotional territory is more familiar - remorse, unresolved confusion, sudden epiphanies - though heightened by the surreal... For all its peculiarity, Planet Murakami offers a recognisable landscape of our fears”


“Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is Murakami's third collection of stories to be published in English, and it will undoubtedly confirm his reputation as literature's answer to David Lynch”


“Sharp but humane observation...as unforgettable as it is untypical”

New Statesman

“Disarming, amusing and reveals his lightness of touch”

Scotland on Sunday

“Murakami is excellent at creating an intense mood in a swift few lines... always provocative and never less than engaging”

Daily Telegraph

“By turns disturbing and delightful, funny strange and funny ha-ha...Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is a handsome volume of prose, every bit as substantial as a novel...They show him at his very best; not as a cult novelist but as a really first-rate writer of short fiction”


“A beguiling collection that shows off Murakami's bold inventiveness and deep compassion”


“Murakami's fictional world is extraordinary”

Sunday Times

“Funny but also sad and wise”

Sunday Telegraph

“These stories are rich in Murakami magic... a collection that all readers will enjoy”


“A stunning collection...the effect is...simple, mysterious and true...Masterful”


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