First Person Singular – Haruki Murakami
“All fiction is magic. That’s the thought that occurred to me often as I read First Person Singular, the brilliant new book of stories by Haruki Murakami. . . . Whatever you want to call Murakami’s work—magic realism, supernatural realism—he writes like a mystery tramp, exposing his global readership to the essential and cosmic (yes, cosmic!) questions that only art can provoke: What does it mean to carry the baggage of identity? Who is this inside my head in relation to the external, so-called real world? Is the person I was years ago the person I am now? Can a name be stolen by a monkey?. . . . [Murakami allows] his own voice to enter the narratives, creating a confessional tone that reminded me of Alice Munro’s late work. . . . Describing how these stories succeed is like trying to describe exactly why, more than 50 years later, a Beatles song still sounds fresh.”
—David Means, The New York Times Book Review
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The eight masterful 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 Haruki 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… with a signature Murakami twist.
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