Most authors don't write simultaneous futuristic thrillers and pastoral fantasies about people with slashed eyes. Most authors don't write about chains of events set off by a missing cat. Most authors don't write about 15 year-old Oedipuses.
Most authors are not Haruki Murakami.
Murakami's works include twelve novels, dozens of short stories, an autobiography, and a non-fiction book of essays and interviews exploring a terrorist attack on Tokyo's subways that occurred in 1995. He achieved literary super-stardom in Japan with the publication of Norwegian Wood, but opinion is very much divided among the Japanese literary community whether he is a genius or a purveyor of somewhat odd popular fiction. His fans say, why not both?
- The "Trilogy of the Rat"
- Hear the Wind Sing
- Pinball, 1973
- A Wild Sheep Chase
- Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World
- Norwegian Wood
- Dance Dance Dance
- South of the Border, West of the Sun
- The Wind Up Bird Chronicle
- Sputnik Sweetheart
- Kafka on the Shore
- After Dark
- One Q Eighty Four
Short story collections:
- The Elephant Vanishes
- After the Quake
- Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
- Let's Meet in a Dream (in collaboration with Shigesato Itoi)
- Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Murakami's fiction often concerns dreams, sex, violence, the inexplicable, loneliness, parallel worlds, and cats.
His work in general and Murakami himself provide examples of:
- Amnesiac Lover: The narrator imagines that he and his dream girl are actually both examples of this in "On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning".
- Author Appeal:
- Murakami seems bizarrely fixated on ears, for some reason.
- He's also a huge jazz fan. In a 2007 essay for the New York Times Book Review, he discussed his his prior career as a jazz club proprietor in Tokyo, and the influence and inspiration that his writing has drawn from jazz music.
- He also loves reading--basically all of his main characters are avid readers.
- Wells and cats also appear in much of his work.
- Badass Bookworm: The author himself, who is a triathlete and marathon runner (which is the main subject of his memoir).
- Dream Sequence: In almost every book.
- Erotic Dream
- Food Porn
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Just about every protagonist, thanks to Author Appeal.
- Literary Allusion Title: Pinball, 1973's title is an allusion to Kenzaburo Oe's The Silent Cry (Japanese title Football, Man'en 1).
- Love Hurts
- Magical Realism: And how!
- Mind Screw: In almost every single book.
- Nameless Narrative: A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World.
- No Export for You: Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 have never been published outside of Japan (with the odd exception of Thailand), as Murakami is not anxious for a wider audience to find his earliest work. Translations into English have been published for students of English in Japan, and can be found here and there on the internet..
- Old Shame: Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973.
- Trilogy Creep: Dance Dance Dance to the "Trilogy of the Rat".
- Two Lines, No Waiting: Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World, Kafka on the Shore, One Q Eighty Four.
- What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic
- 1860 according to the Gregorian calendar