Haruki Murakami’s books have sold untold millions worldwide. They’ve been translated into over 50 languages, and they’ve won a slew of literary awards.
In his native Japan, his work is anticipated with a frenzy that most closely parallels zeitgeist releases like the “Harry Potter” or “Twilight” series — lines wrap around the block at bookstores, entire print runs sell out in days.
All of this mania stands in stark contrast to Murakami’s superbly quiet writing, exemplified in his new short story collection, “Men Without Women.” Contrary to the machismo and bullfighting of the Ernest Hemingway book from which the title comes, these are simple, modern tales of love, loss and loneliness written with male protagonists.
Stories range from “Drive My Car,” about a reasonably successful stage actor whose new driver brings back decade-old memories of his deceased wife and her infidelities, to “An Independent Organ,” a portrait of a longtime Casanova and the devastation caused by falling in love for the first time at age 52, to “Kino,” the story of a man who leaves his wife and career to open a humble…
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