Synopsis[ edit ] "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman"[ edit ] An unnamed adult narrator and his younger teen-aged cousin wait for a bus to take them to the hospital so the cousin can have his ear problem examined, an ailment he has had since he was young due to being hit in the ear by a baseball. The bus ride takes them through much hilly terrain and gives the narrator time to think about how he developed a close bond with his cousin. After the cousin checks in, the narrator reminisces on what happened the last time he visited a nearby hospital. After the operation, the girlfriend tells a narrative-poem about a woman who sleeps indefinitely because a "blind willow" sends its flies to carry pollen to her ear, burrow inside, and put her to sleep. After the cousin returns from the check-up, the two cousins lunch.

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If writing novels is like planting a forest, then writing short stories is more like planting a garden. The two processes complement each other, creating a complete landscape that I treasure. The green foliage of the trees casts a pleasant shade over the earth, and the wind rustles the leaves, which are sometimes dyed a brilliant gold.

Meanwhile, in the garden, buds appear on flowers, and colorful petals attract bees and butterflies, reminding us of the subtle transition from one season to the next.

The two types of writing may very well engage different parts of the brain, and it takes some time to get off one track and switch to the other. It was only after I began my career with two short novels, Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, , that I started, from to , to write short stories. I felt the possibilities of my fictional world expand by several degrees. And readers seemed to appreciate this other side of me as a writer. This was my starting point as a short story writer, and also when I developed my system of alternating between novels and short stories.

Generally it takes me about a week to get a short story into some kind of decent shape though revisions can be endless. You merely enter a room, finish your work, and exit. So I find writing short stories a necessary change of pace. One more nice thing about short stories is that you can create a story out of the smallest details—an idea that springs up in your mind, a word, an image, whatever. Even with masters of the genre like F.

I find this a great comfort. In my case, when I write novels I try very hard to learn from the successes and failures I experience in writing short stories. In that sense, the short story is a kind of experimental laboratory for me as a novelist. Essentially I consider myself a novelist, but a lot of people tell me they prefer my short stories to my novels.

I remember exactly where I set down each and every one of them, and how I felt when I did. Short stories are like guideposts to my heart, and it makes me happy as a writer to be able to share these intimate feelings with my readers. The Elephant Vanishes came out in and was subsequently translated into many other languages. Another collection in English, after the quake, was published in in Japan. This book contained six short tales all dealing in one way or another with the Kobe earthquake.

This book naturally contains some stories I wrote after The Elephant Vanishes appeared. To tell the truth, though, from the beginning of to the beginning of I wrote very few short stories. I did write a short story from time to time when I had to, but I never focused on them. And in between, I wrote nonfiction, the two works that make up the English version of Underground.

Each of these took an enormous amount of time and energy. I suppose that back then my main battleground was this—the writing of one novel after another. Perhaps it was just that time of life for me. In , though, for the first time in a long time I was struck by a s trong desire to write a series of short stories. A powerful urge took hold of me, you might say. So I sat down at my desk, wrote about a story a week, and finished five in not much more than a month. These five stories, published recently in Japan in a volume entitled Tokyo Kitanshu Strange Tales from Tokyo are collected at the end of this book.

Come to think of it, however, everything I write is, more or less, a strange tale. In this sense, too, my short stories and novels connect up inside me in a very natural, organic way. Many people have encouraged me and led me to write short stories. A May wind, swelling up like a piece of fruit, with a rough outer skin, slimy flesh, dozens of seeds. The flesh split open in midair, spraying seeds like gentle buckshot into the bare skin of my arms, leaving behind a faint trace of pain.

About eight inches shorter than me, he had to look up when he talked. I glanced at my watch. His slim, smooth fingers were surprisingly strong. No response. My cousin looked confused.

The white teeth between his parted lips looked like bones that had atrophied. Soon after he went into elementary school he was hit by a baseball and it screwed up his hearing. He attends a regular school, leads an entirely normal life. In his classroom, he always sits in the front row, on the right, so he can keep his left ear toward the teacher.

And sometimes, maybe twice a year, he can barely hear anything out of either ear. When that happens, ordinary life goes out the window and he has to take some time off from school.

The doctors are basically stumped. I got it when I started junior high, but I lost it a year later. If I want to know the time I just ask somebody. We were silent again for a while. I knew I should say something more, try to be kind to him, try to make him relax a little until we arrived at the hospital. But it had been five years since I saw him last. And that span of time had created a translucent barrier between us that was hard to traverse.

And every time I hesitated, every time I swallowed back something I was about to say, my cousin looked at me with a slightly confused look on his face.

His left ear tilted ever so slightly toward me. It was ten thirty-two when the bus finally rolled into view. The bus that came was a new type, not like the one I used to take to high school. The windshield in front of the driver was much bigger, the whole vehicle like some huge bomber minus the wings. Why the bus should be so crowded at this time of day was a mystery. A few schools along the route made the buses crowded when kids were going to school, but at this time of day the bus should have been empty.

My cousin and I held on to the straps and poles. The bus was brand-new, straight from the factory, the metal surfaces so shiny you could see your face reflected in them. The nap of the seats was all fluffy, and even the tiniest of screws had that proud, expectant feeling that only brand-new machinery possesses.

The new bus, and the way it was unexpectedly crowded, threw me off. Maybe the bus route had changed since I last rode it. I looked carefully around the bus and glanced outside. But it was the same old view of a quiet residential district I remembered well. Ever since we got aboard I must have had a perplexed look on my face.


[PDF] Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman Book by Haruki Murakami Free Download (333 pages)

The book picked up towards the end, with really nice storiesBut one has to live through waste of time pieces throughout the book mostly for the first three quarters before one is treated to the nice ones what is glory without suffering? Average rating overall is 2. However, based on my overall impression and personal thoughts about the book, plus the following statistics, I am more inclined to give this book just 2 stars: Number of stories rated as 1 star- 6; 2 stars-7; 3 stars-4; 4 stars -6; 5 stars And 2 stars it is! It was just really ok.


A hole in the middle of the Pacific

The narrator is typical too: an anonymous man with a passion for jazz. His vomiting lasts 40 days and 40 nights, is accompanied by frightening prank calls, and ends as mysteriously as it began - as does the story itself. The two friends can find no explanation for the curse, and the prank caller remains unidentified. It might sound a disappointing narrative - and Murakami can seem disappointing at first - but "Nausea " is a story that sticks in the mind, and in this, too, it is characteristic. Has the serial adulterer been cursed, or does his nausea have nothing at all to do with his predilection for deceptive seduction? Murakami never says, and the result, as in so much of his work, is profoundly memorable. As an independent publisher, Harvill published Murakami beautifully for some years, and, happily, as Harvill Secker it is continuing the tradition; Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is a handsome volume of prose, every bit as substantial as a novel, bringing together 25 stories written over three decades and augmenting them with an introduction from the author.


Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman


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