‘Everyone who reads Norwegian Wood runs out to buy copies for friends and lovers.’
When the Beatles song of the book’s title plays over an airplane intercom, Toru Watanabe is reminded of Naoko, his first love. Brought together by a traumatic shared experience, the couple find solace in an intense, complicated relationship in which they cocoon themselves from the rest of the world. A beautiful exploration of love, sexuality and grief, the nostalgic narrative is a departure from the author’s typical magical realism and yet it remains distinctly Murakami. The first illustrated edition of Norwegian Wood features the mesmerising artwork of Daniel Liévano, who was awarded the Society of Illustrators Silver Award for his work on our edition of Kafka on the Shore, and whose vision marries perfectly with the dreamlike prose.
Bound in blocked cloth
Set in Arno with Futura as display
Frontispiece plus 6 colour double-page illustrations, with orange motifs on the reverse
Printed in 2 colours throughout in black & green, with integrated illustrated motifs
Metallic printed endpapers
Blocked and die-cut slipcase
10˝ x 6¾˝
Murakami defies easy classification, with elements of the fantastical, magical and surrealist woven into most of his novels. A rare work of realism, this early novel by the author also has a dreamy, faraway feel that resonated with readers on publication and catapulted Murakami to literary superstardom. Columbian conceptual artist Daniel Liévano could not be better suited to visualise Murakami’s unique and distinctive voice. Each of his six striking double-page illustrations explores a scene in the novel, with accompanying motifs that add fragments of memory to the settings. Beautiful metallic endpapers and a series slipcase, with a distinctive die-cut design, ensure this stunning edition will be coveted by collectors.
‘Poignant, romantic and hopeless, it beautifully encapsulates the heartbreak and loss of faith.’
The Sunday Times
As the melody of “Norwegian Wood” transports Watanabe back 20 years to his 1960s student days, Murakami unravels this serious young man’s complex love story. When his best friend Kizuki dies in tragic circumstances, Watanabe becomes close to Kizuki’s girlfriend. Naoko is a delicate and damaged soul and, although their shared grief cuts through their loneliness and pain, it also casts a permanent shadow over their relationship. Watanabe has a second chance at love with university student Midori, whose outgoing nature and positive response to her own difficult upbringing makes her the polar opposite of Naoko and perhaps a better match. However, Watanabe remains spellbound by Naoko and the memories of his first love stay with him throughout adulthood. Full of melancholy and reflection, the novel speaks to anyone who has loved, lost or grieved in their youth, then revisits their memories from an older, more experienced, perspective.
Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1949. He grew up in Kobe and studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he later opened a jazz bar with his wife. In 1979 Murakami won the Gunzou Literature Prize for his first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, which was followed by Pinball, 1973 (1980) and A Wild Sheep Chase (1982). Further renown followed with Norwegian Wood(1987; Folio 2022), The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994–95), Kafka on the Shore (2002; Folio 2021) and 1Q84 (2009–10). To date, Murakami’s work has been translated into more than fifty languages and his accolades include the World Fantasy Award, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, and the Jerusalem Prize.
Daniel Liévano was born in Bogotá in 1988. As an editorial illustrator he has devoted most of his work to the creation of conceptual images for clients including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Economist, The Sunday Times, Victionary and The Lancet. As an author and illustrator, Daniel likes to explore abstraction, taking information from other media such as poetry and independent film. His experimental comic book, The Mountain of Reality, was listed by Arcadia Magazine as among the best books published in Colombia and his second graphic novel, Gravity, was awarded the Gold Medal in the Book category from The Society of Illustrators in New York. For the Folio Society he has illustrated Kafka on the Shore (2021) and Norwegian Wood (2022).
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