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A cream-of-the-crop selection of Murakami's brilliance and piercing wit. This collection shows sides of Ryu Murakami that even avid fans may not be expecting. The intriguing, somewhat disturbing stories that Topaz was based on are included here, as are three entertaining and revealing portraits of the artist as a young man back in the Transparent Blue period of the late sixties and early seventies. We hear tales told by four very different individuals living in eighties Tokyo, each with his or her own problems but all with a thing about a certain pro baseball player, and we meet a brokenhearted young woman who finds an unexpected moment of love in the nineties and a single mother who stumbles on a ray of hope in the hard times of the noughties.
Mixed in there somewhere are three linked stories about desire and obsession, with the timeless, seductive rhythms of Cuban music in the background. This book contains explicit content and is not suitable for minors. About the author: Ryu Murakami was not yet 24 when he won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for his debut novel, Almost Transparent Blue. He has now published some forty best-selling novels, a dozen short-story collections, an armful of picture books, and a small mountain of essays. In his spare time, Ryu hosts a popular and long-running weekly TV show focusing on business and economic topics, and has for many years promoted tours and produced records for Cuban musicians. He has written and directed five feature films, of which Topaz a.k.a. Tokyo Decadence (1992) is probably the best known, and many of his novels have been made into films by other directors (notably Takashi Miike's Audition). Translated novels include Coin Locker Babies (Noma Prize for New Writers), Sixty-Nine, Popular Hits of the Showa Era, Audition, In the Miso Soup (Yomiuri Prize for Literature), Piercing, and From the Fatherland, with Love (Noma Prize for Literature and Mainichi Publishing Culture Award).
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