Who You’re Reading When You Read Haruki Murakami

Books are a product unlike most others. Novelists are not iPhones. The new doesn’t render the old obsolete. No matter how much you loved Sally Rooney, you would not suggest that because of her, Oscar Wilde is history. An adoration of Emma Cline would not lead you to say that she eclipses Joan Didion. One does not replace the other. Yet this is how Haruki Murakami was introduced to the world stage.

Alfred Birnbaum was the first to translate Murakami’s novels into English. And this is how…

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