Wind Pinball by Haruki Murakami
Two old novellas accompanied by a new introduction by the author – whatever this unusual publication is, it’s delicious. Call it a Murakami primer for newbies, the introduction alone makes Wind Pinball worth reading. In a time when university creative writing programmes are the mainstay of author bios, Murakami articulates quite plainly how he took a notion to invent, and then, like an engineer, adjusted his approach and tinkered with his method until he got the desired result. And the result speaks for itself: two perfectly shaped novellas, as experimental and pleasantly offbeat as they are easy to enjoy in Ted Goosen’s crystalline translation. Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 share their unnamed narrator and anti-hero, Rat. The two men weave seemingly ordinary stories in and out of dive bars and through love affairs, some incidental, some pulsing with the stuff life is made of. Both tales showcase the loneliness and erotic pull that paint the sets of so many of Murakami’s surreal stages.