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.
"Murakami fans will no doubt delight in this new publication. For newcomers, these early works are an excellent introduction to a writer who has since become one of the most influential novelists of his generation" -- Hannah Beckerman * Observer * "Murakami's way of making emotionally resonant images and symbols bump around on the page, and in one's mind, remains fresh, miraculously, more than 35 years on" -- Jerome Boyd Maunsell * Evening Standard * "Wind/Pinball is a fresh, heart-warming dose of the Japanese master" * Economist * "To read a Murakami book is to feel comforted by the familiarity and predictability of its strangeness. These are Murakami's two earliest novels and so, like archaeological artefacts, they detail the early construction of his now-famous style." -- Claire Kohda Hazelton * The Times Literary Supplement * "quintessential Murakami... an excellent introduction to a writer who has since become one of the most influential novelists of his generation" -- Guardian * Hannah Beckerman *