In accordance with our meta agreement to have topic challenges and a later meta agreement to have topic challenges lasting for two months that overlap by one month, it is time to announce the February–March 2020 topic challenge.

Based on the number of votes (+6, -2), the second topic challenge of the year 2020 will be

Haruki Murakami

What's a topic challenge?

See the meta posts linked above, and also this main meta post. In short, during February and March 2020 we should all try to read one or more works by Haruki Murakami (村上 春樹).

Participation is not obligatory in any sense, but those who participate will be forever remembered in the annals of our history. And of course it goes without saying that questions on other works are more than welcome during June too; they just won't count as part of this topic challenge.

How can I take part?

By getting hold of one of the works of Haruki Murakami and asking good questions about these works. These questions should be tagged with and . We'll keep a list of all such questions in an answer to this meta post.

Below is the original presentation of this topic challenge, which contains several reading suggestions:

Haruki Murakami is a Japanese writer. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work being translated into 50 languages. His work has received numerous awards, including the World Fantasy Award, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, and the Jerusalem Prize. Steven Poole of The Guardian praised Murakami as "among the world's greatest living novelists".

Why must one read Murakami?

His work is surreal and melancholic, with recurrent themes of alienation and loneliness. What motivates me to read his works is the open-to-interpretation endings he gives to his stories.

Murakami's notable works

  1. A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)
  2. Norwegian Wood (1987)
  3. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994–95)
  4. Kafka on the Shore (2002)
  5. 1Q84 (2009–10)

Works by Murakami that are available for free:

  1. Birthday Girl: a short story
  2. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker, where he publishes short stories from time to time.

What's next?

  • Vote here for the next topic challenge (March–April), or propose your own!

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