It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to participate in the Japanese lit classes I used to enjoy, but I still follow their reading list to get ideas. Most recently, they read “Barn Burning” by Haruki Murakami, a short story in his collection The Elephant Vanishes. I was surprised to see my library had it on the shelves and showed up immediately to take advantage of this situation. I ended up binge-hauling some of his other short story collections, along with some Fitzgerald and the novel Convenience Store Woman (2016) by Sayaka Murata, who has crossed my radar several times. It should be noted that most of these books are small with a large font size and generous line spacing, otherwise I’d be out of my mind!
Also—a big thank-you to the anonymous contributor of Perrault’s Fairy Tales! The Gustave Doré illustrations are stunning! I hope to do a video on it soon. 🙂
Now… do not take my Murakami-biased haul as an endorsement. My opinion remains undecided. Based on things I’ve heard and read about him so far (read: his portrayal of female characters and sexual content), I do not think I will be a fan. But I was intrigued by the two short stories I’ve read before (“Honey Pie” and “Drive My Car”), so I’m hoping to gain something from his short fiction and also his nonfiction, while probably avoiding the novels for now.
As for F Scott Fitzgerald, I’ve never read any of his short stories, not even Benjamin Buttons, so I’m curious to see what those are like.
Have you read any of these books? Is there any Japanese literature on your 2023 horizon?
Bellezza is hosting her annual Japanese Literature event in January and February. I have no business signing up for challenges, but I will link up my reviews of these books if I managed to finish any of them. 😉