South of the Border, West of the Sun
Haruki Murakami is unquestionably Japan’s leading novelist with his many works – fiction and non-fiction – consistently reflecting contemporary Japanese life while, unusually, sustaining an international appeal through a deeply human perspective. South of the Border, West of the Sun is his seventh novel, written in 1992. Hajime tells the story of his relationship with Shimamoto, an unconventional girl, from their first meetings as children through to life as students. They drift apart, but come together years later when Hajime is married and a father of two. Are those former feelings of close friendship still real – real enough to upset a functioning family life? Or are they haunted by intense memories? And who is Shimamoto, and what has she become. South of the Border, West of the Sun is typically intimate, illusive, unpredictable and absorbing in a way that is uniquely Murakami.