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  • Published: 6 April 2021
  • ISBN: 9781787302600
  • Imprint: Harvill Secker
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $39.99

First Person Singular

Stories




A brilliant new collection of short stories from the unique mind of the internationally bestselling author of Men Without Women and Killing Commendatore.

A mindbending new collection of short stories from the unique, internationally acclaimed author of Norwegian Wood and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

The eight masterly stories in this new collection are all told in the first person by a classic Murakami narrator. From nostalgic memories of youth, meditations on music and an ardent love of baseball to dreamlike scenarios, an encounter with a talking monkey and invented jazz albums, together these stories challenge the boundaries between our minds and the exterior world. Occasionally, a narrator who may or may not be Murakami himself is present. Is it memoir or fiction? The reader decides.

Philosophical and mysterious, the stories in First Person Singular all touch beautifully on love and solitude, childhood and memory. . . all with a signature Murakami twist.

A GUARDIAN AND SUNDAY TIMES 'BOOKS OF 2021' PICK

  • Published: 6 April 2021
  • ISBN: 9781787302600
  • Imprint: Harvill Secker
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $39.99

About the author

Haruki Murakami

In 1978, Haruki Murakami was twenty-nine 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.

Also by Haruki Murakami

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Praise for First Person Singular

Mind-bending...touches beautifully on love, solitude, childhood memories, dreamlike scenarios, invented jazz albums and meditations on music. In true Murakami tale-telling perfection, it's devourable

Irish Daily Mail

First Person Singular is a patch of intense variety and colour... Murakami's protagonists tend to be introspective, ordinary men who find themselves confronted by women and unusual situations. It is as much their reactions to events as the events themselves that make his books so brilliant

Arjun Neil Alim, Evening Standard

I never tire of re-entering Murakami's world, finding his Proustian ability to covey the texture of memory exhilarating, and his fatalistic heroes and their deadpan response to the melodramatic and the outré soothing

Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph

These stories are unmistakably Murakami's for the way they traffic in his signature themes of time and memory, nostalgia and young love... each one [story] has insights that remain with you long after they are done

Alexander Nurnberh, Sunday Times

The hallmarks of Haruki Murakami's longer fiction are all here; an enigmatic eeriness which hints at the supernatural in everyday situations, a love of jazz and baseball, and the nourishing nostalgia of pop music

Daily Mail

The short stories are an excellent entry point for Murakami neophytes. If he has passed you by and you're trying to work out where to begin they'll give you an immediate taste for whether his tone and effect works for you or leaves you cold: without the pressure of hundreds of pages and epic scope, he's stripped back to the deeply human, deeply funny weirdness that defines his best work.

Sydney Morning Herald

At his strongest he's like Kafka in Tokyo

Herald

Thought-provoking: the essence of life, Murakami suggests, is grappling with the inexplicable

Anthony Gardner, Mail on Sunday

Philosophical and mysterious, the stories in First Person Singular all touch beautifully on love and solitude, childhood and memory - all with a signature Murakami twist

Sheerluxe

A wonderfully surreal collection of short stories... Murakami has an ability to make the mundane fantastical and the fantastical mundane... First Person Singular is an engaging and enigmatic collection to savour and enjoy

Essential Marbella

[First Person Singular is] sure to satisfy both hardcore Murakami fans and those looking for an introduction to his work

UK Press Syndication

Murakami fans will love this new collection of stories all steeped in a love of music

Sunday Times, *Summer Reads of 2021*

Discover more

Article
First Person Singular cover design Q&A

Vintage Creative Director Suzanne Dean and artist Lena Peters on circles, Murakami and monkeys.

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