“Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman” by Haruki Murakami (Knopf, 2006)

Blind Willow Sleeping Woman

There are essentially three types of Haruki Murakami fans: those who enjoy his novels, those who enjoy his short stories, and those who enjoy both.  I enjoy both, perhaps his novels a little more.  For those looking to see what this great author has to offer with his talent, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman provides twenty-four examples of this, each story feeling special and unique.

In the first story, of the same name as the collection,  a half-deaf character experiences this strange world through his own filtered way, as the blind willow trees provide pollen that fly and burrow inside a woman’s ear; the story is poetic and moving.  In “The Mirror,” a man looks into a mirror to find someone else standing there, someone he doesn’t completely recognize, only to later discover there never was a mirror.  “The Shinagawa Monkey” tells the unusual story of a woman who has lost her name and the steps she takes to find it again and why she ultimately lost it.

Readers will be whisked away and become lost in these many enchanting tales of the unusual and in some instances, bizarre, but they will see the truly great talent of Haruki Murakami, and discover why so many people the world over have become timeless fans of his works.

Originally written on May 18, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

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