South of the Border, West of the Sun

South of the Border, West of the Sun

Paperback Harvill Secker

By (author) Haruki Murakami

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 14mm | 141g
  • Publication date: 1 December 2006
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099448572
  • ISBN 13: 9780099448570
  • Sales rank: 3,065

Product description

Growing up in the suburbs in post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father's record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch. Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting he has found happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped in mystery. Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at risk all he has in the present.

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Author information

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. He is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His works include Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. His work has been translated into more than forty languages, and the most recent of his many international honours is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V.S. Naipaul.

Review quote

"A story of love in a cool climate, intensely romantic and weepily beautiful...it is startlingly different: a true original" Guardian "Casablanca remade Japanese style...It is dream-like writing, laden with scenes which have the radiance of a poem" The Times "This wise and beautiful book is full of hidden truths" New York Times "This book aches...an eloquent treatise on the vertiginous, irrational powers of love and desire" Independent on Sunday "Impressively written and structured... Above all, the novel is memorable for its unflinchingly extreme treatment of romantic love" Times Literary Supplement

Editorial reviews

This wise and beautiful book is full of hidden truths

Back cover copy

Born in 1951 in an affluent Tokyo suburb, Hajime -- beginning in Japanese -- has arrived at middle age wanting for almost nothing. 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 tableau of Haruki Murakami's most haunting work. When Shimamoto shows up one rainy night, now 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.

Flap copy

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. Born in 1951 in an affluent Tokyo suburb, Hajime--"beginning in Japanese--has arrived at middle age wanting for almost nothing. 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. When Shimamoto shows up one rainy night, now 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 fiction.