First Person Singular

First Person Singular

Hardcover

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Overview

“Some novelists hold a mirror up to the world and some, like Haruki Murakami, use the mirror as a portal to a universe hidden beyond it.” —The Wall Street Journal
 
A mind-bending new collection of short stories from the internationally acclaimed Haruki Murakami.

The eight stories in this new book are all told in the first person by a classic Murakami narrator. From memories of youth, meditations on music, and an ardent love of baseball, to dreamlike scenarios and invented jazz albums, together these stories challenge the boundaries between our minds and the exterior world. Occasionally, a narrator may or may not be Murakami himself. Is it memoir or fiction? The reader decides.

Philosophical and mysterious, the stories in First Person Singular all touch beautifully on love and solitude, childhood and memory. . . all with a signature Murakami twist.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593318072
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/06/2021
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 6,765
Product dimensions: 5.15(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.05(d)

About the Author

HARUKI MURAKAMI was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. His work has been translated into more than fifty languages, and the most recent of his many international honors is the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award, whose previous recipients include Karl Ove Knausgård, Isabel Allende, and Salman Rushdie.

Hometown:

Tokyo, Japan

Date of Birth:

January 12, 1949

Place of Birth:

Kyoto, Japan

Education:

Waseda University, 1973

Read an Excerpt

First Person Singular

I hardly ever wear suits. At most, maybe two or three times a year, since there are rarely any situations where I need to get dressed up. I may wear a casual jacket on occasion, but no tie, or leather shoes. That’s the type of life I chose for myself, so that’s how things have worked out.

Sometimes, though, even when there’s no need for it, I do decide to wear a suit and tie. Why? When I open my closet and check out what kind of clothes are there (I have to do that or else I don’t know what kind of clothes I own), and gaze at the suits I’ve hardly ever worn, the dress shirts still in the dry cleaner’s plastic garment bags, and the ties that look brand new, no trace of ever having been used, I start to feel apologetic toward these clothes. Then I try them on just to see how they look. I experiment with various tie knots to see if I still remember how to do them. Including one making a proper dimple. The only time I do all this is when I’m home alone. If someone else is here, I’d have to explain what I’m up to.

Once I go to the trouble of getting the outfit on, it seems a waste to take it all off right away, so I go out for a while dressed up like that. Strolling around town in a suit and tie. And it feels pretty good. I get the sense that even my facial expression and gait are transformed. It’s an invigorat­ing sensation, as if I’ve temporarily stepped away from the everyday. But after an hour or so of roaming, this newness fades. I get tired of wearing a suit and tie, the tie starts to feel itchy and too tight, like it’s choking me. The leather shoes click too hard and loud as they strike the pavement. So I go home, slip off the leather shoes, peel off the suit and tie, change into a worn-out set of sweatpants and sweatshirt, plop down on the sofa, and feel relaxed and at peace. This is my little one-hour secret ceremony, entirely harmless— or at least not something I need to feel guilty about.

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