Thursday, May 27, 2010

After Dark

The semester has choked out its last death throes and, during our record-breaking heat wave, I hunkered down in the basement with Haruki Murakami's novel After Dark. A friend of mine finds Murakami's novels "tiring" and I can agree with that, but this one is short and highly readable. I like it because it inhabits the same Japan I knew (and put in American Fuji): a world of Denny's, Skylarks, love hotels, and parks with sections for stray cats. While some may accuse the plot of being coincidental, I find coincidence to be part of the wonder of Japan. The society, and language itself, are about relationships, not the chronological march of progress and individual achievement characteristic of American novels. I recommend it as a companion to American Fuji.

P. S. Today, my birthday brings a full moon worthy of Eguchi's "Moon Package" dream. A good day to enter the American Fuji Giveaway (see below).

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