South of the Border, West of the Sun
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South of the Border, West of the Sun

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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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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 14mm | 140.61g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English, Japanese
  • 0099448572
  • 9780099448570
  • 2,402

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.

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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

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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.

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About Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His books include Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, 1Q84, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage and The Strange Library. His work has been translated into more than 50 languages, and the most recent of his many international honours is the Jerusalem Prize.

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Review Text

Impressively written and structured... Above all, the novel is memorable for its unflinchingly extreme treatment of romantic love

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