Born in 1951 in an affluent Tokyo suburb, Hajime beginning in Japanese has arrived at middle age wanting for almost thing. The postwar years have brought him a fine marriage, two daughters, and an enviable career as the proprietor of two jazz clubs. Yet a nagging sense of inauthenticity about his success threatens Hajime s happiness. And a boyhood memory of a wise, lonely girl named Shimamoto clouds his heart. In South of the Border, West of the Sun, the simple arc of a man s life with its attendant rhythms of success and disappointment becomes the exquisite literary terrain of Haruki Murakami s most haunting work. When Shimamoto shows up one rainy night, w a breathtaking beauty with a secret from which she is unable to escape, the fault lines of doubt in Hajime s quotidian existence begin to give way. And the details of stolen moments past and present a Nat King Cole melody, a face pressed against a window, a handful of ashes drifting downriver to the sea threaten to undo him completely. Rich, mysterious, quietly dazzling, South of the Border, West of the Sun is Haruki Murakami s wisest and most compelling work.
Haruki Murakami lives in Oiso, Japan, just outside of Tokyo.