Abandoning a Cat

Haruki Murakami reflects on the surprising parallels between his life and the life of his father: “All we can do is breathe the air of the period we live in, carry with us the special burdens of the time, and grow up within those confines. That’s just how things are….We live our lives this way: viewing things that came about through accident and happenstance as the sole possible reality.”

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Sep 30, 2019
Length: 24 minutes (6,098 words)

A Walk to Kobe

A 6.1 earthquake recently struck Osaka, Japan. In 1997, writer Haruki Murakami walked the long stretch between Kobe’s city center and his childhood home in the outskirts, to see how the great Kobe earthquake changed his hometown. He found not only a foreign landscape, but traces of himself, and the constant echo of violence.

Source: Granta
Published: Aug 6, 2013
Length: 19 minutes (4,893 words)

Town of Cats

(Fiction) At Koenji Station, Tengo boarded the Chuo Line inbound rapid-service train. The car was empty. He had nothing planned that day. Wherever he went and whatever he did (or didn’t do) was entirely up to him. It was ten o’clock on a windless summer morning, and the sun was beating down. The train passed Shinjuku, Yotsuya, Ochanomizu, and arrived at Tokyo Central Station, the end of the line. Everyone got off, and Tengo followed suit. Then he sat on a bench and gave some thought to where he should go. “I can go anywhere I decide to,” he told himself. “It looks as if it’s going to be a hot day. I could go to the seashore.” He raised his head and studied the platform guide.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Sep 5, 2011
Length: 30 minutes (7,577 words)