Because I live in Japan I feel duty-bound to read as much Ogawa, Murakami, and Ishiguro to help me understand this magical, infuriating, weird, and wonderful country.
So, after three false starts I finished Norwegian Wood (all it took was two flights and two young children plugged into two iPad films).
Norwegian Wood (named after the Beatle’s song) is a beautifully told, simple tale of love, loss and life set in Tokyo during the late sixties. It has a little bit of everything, even fundraising.
Murakami’s mastery of words extends to perfectly capturing the simplicity of the most common donor motivation.
Before I go on, a spoiler alert for the next paragraph. And, an apology to the Murakami purists out there — my reading of Japanese is enough to navigate local supermarkets, road signs and a small percentage of my mail here in Okinawa, but nowhere near enough to handle the original text (nor was I determined enough to locate the original translation by Alfred...