Reading lists

Where to start with Haruki Murakami

If you haven't yet ventured into the weird and wonderful world of Japan's most globally celebrated author, discover his writing with this beginner's guide to his incredible books.

A flatlay of some of Haruki Murakami's most notable works.

Few authors have captured the world’s imagination like Haruki Murakami. The Japanese author, who at 29 ditched his day job running a jazz bar in Tokyo to write, is now recognised globally for his surrealist novels, which retain an air of magic and whimsy despite their sobering themes of human isolation.

Since he published his first book in 1979, Murakami has won accolades and awards for his work, including the World Fantasy Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Jerusalem Prize and many others; in 2000, The Guardian referred to him as being “among the world’s greatest living novelists”.

With such a vast oeuvre – Murakami has published over a dozen novels, not to mention his short stories and non-fiction – it can be daunting to know which of his books to read first. Here, we’ve chosen a handful of his most notable works to help guide you.

Murakami's works retain an air of magic and whimsy despite their sobering themes of human isolation

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