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“Writing novels is much the same. You gather up bones and make your gate, but no matter how wonderful the gate might be, that alone doesn’t make it a living breathing novel. A story is not something of this world. A real story requires a kind of magical baptism to link the world on this side with the world on the other side.” – Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami was born on January 12, 1949 in Kyoto, Japan. He attended Waseda University in Tokyo and upon graduating, opened a small jazz bar that he ran with his wife for seven years. In 1979, his first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won the Gunzou Literature prize for budding writers. Since then, Murakami has written countless fiction novels including Norweigan Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and IQ84. He has also written three short story as well as several works of nonfiction. Some of his literary influences include Raymond Chandler, Kurt Vonnegut, and Richard Brautigan.