Haruki Murakami After the Quake: Stories

ISBN 13: 9780375713279

After the Quake: Stories

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9780375713279: After the Quake: Stories
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Coming this October: Killing Commendatore, the much-anticipated new novel from Haruki Murakami

Set at the time of the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake, the mesmerizing stories in After the Quake are as haunting as dreams and as potent as oracles.

An electronics salesman who has been deserted by his wife agrees to deliver an enigmatic package— and is rewarded with a glimpse of his true nature. A man who views himself as the son of God pursues a stranger who may be his human father. A mild-mannered collection agent receives a visit from a giant talking frog who enlists his help in saving Tokyo from destruction. The six stories in this collection come from the deep and mysterious place where the human meets the inhuman—and are further proof that Murakami is one of the most visionary writers at work today.

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Review:

Haruki Murakami, a writer both mystical and hip, is the West's favorite Japanese novelist. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Murakami lived abroad until 1995. That year, two disasters struck Japan: the lethal earthquake in Kobe and the deadly poison gas attacks in the Tokyo subway. Spurred by these tragic events, Murakami returned home. The stories in After the Quake are set in the months that fell between the earthquake and the subway attack, presenting a world marked by despair, hope, and a kind of human instinct for transformation. A teenage girl and a middle-aged man share a hobby of making beach bonfires; a businesswoman travels to Thailand and, quietly, confronts her own death; three friends act out a modern-day Tokyo version of Jules and Jim. There's a surreal element running through the collection in the form of unlikely frogs turning up in unlikely places. News of the earthquake hums throughout. The book opens with the dull buzz of disaster-watching: "Five straight days she spent in front of the television, staring at the crumbled banks and hospitals, whole blocks of stores in flames, severed rail lines and expressways." With language that's never self-consciously lyrical or show-offy, Murakami constructs stories as tight and beautiful as poems. There's no turning back for his people; there's only before and after the quake. --Claire Dederer

From the Back Cover:

“Ushers the reader into a hallucinatory world where the real and surreal merge and overlap, where dreams and real-life nightmares are impossible to tell apart.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“His characters are so persuasive, and the storytelling so spacious. . . . Murakami’s crisp, accomplished stories in After the Quake have great immediacy.” —The Seattle Times

“One of the great Japanese exports.” Details

“Unexpectedly powerful. . . . Moving.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Both mysterious and somehow quite familiar.” –Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle

“In these stories . . . Murakami proves himself to be almost as fantastic–and as heroic–as his creations.” –Elle

“Trim, beautiful, diamond sharp, and profoundly layered in . . . mystical symbolism and daily absurdities. Murakami’s evocations of grace and possible redemption are startling, dangerous, and moving.” –O, The Oprah Magazine

“Haruki Murakami remains one of the most accessible Japanese writers for Western readers.” –LA Times

“Spare yet richly mysterious and emotionally prismatic, these unpredictable tales explore the subtle ways the earthquake affected those who live far from its epicenter yet who are nonetheless shaken to their very core. . . .Haunting.” –Booklist (starred review)

“Murakami has written a series of deeply evocative stories.” –Tulsa Today

“The stories here are well-crafted and lyrical . . . They are sometimes absurd, sometimes quite funny, but they all have real epiphanies and real moments of feeling.” –Rocky Mountain News

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