Our slapdash Japanese themed book club, J-Book, is back from a summer hiatus and ready to get into the literary swing of things with a discussion of a Murakami short story collection. To heat things up a bit (because I know the heat outside isn’t enough for you) J-Book is piggy backing off of the Japanese Cultural Meetup group’s trip to Spa World on August 28. We will be availing ourselves of the soaking and sweating opportunities in addition to delving into the joys of Murakami. One of the beauties here is that even if you don’t read all the stories, you can still join in (so don’t be shy).
When : Saturday, August 28, 2010 1:30 PM
Where : Spa World
13830 Braddock Rd Ste A10
Centreville, VA 20121
Step One: Let me know if you are game so I can send you more details and work out transportation and so forth (Jillian at email@example.com) or simply RSVP to this Meetup:
Step Two: Read the short story collection “The Elephant Vanishes” by Haruki Murakami (stories are translated into English)
Step Three: Sit back and relax in the co-ed common area at Spa World at 1:30 pm and enjoy a discussion, in English, of the stories. Look for people holding the book!
More about the stories:
From Library Journal
This collection of 15 stories from a popular Japanese writer, perhaps best known in this country for A Wild Sheep Chase, gives a nice idea of his breadth of style. The work maintains the matter-of-fact tone reminiscent of American detective fiction, balancing itself somewhere between the spare realism of Raymond Carver and the surrealism of Kobo Abe. These are not the sort of stories that one thinks of as “Japanese”; the intentionally Westernized style and well-placed reference to pop culture gives them a contemporary and universal feel. Engaging, thought-provoking, humorous, and slyly profound, these skillful stories will easily appeal to American readers but must present something of a challenge to the Japanese cultural establishment. At their best, however, they serve to dispel cultural stereotypes and reveal a common humanity. Recommended for libraries with an interest in contemporary fiction.