Haruki Murakami: The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

(1507 words)
  • Matthew Chozick (University of Birmingham)

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is both historical fiction and an exploration of loss in modern Tokyo. Two primary storylines — a macronarrative in the present, which forms the bulk of the novel, and a micronarrative in pre-Second World War Japan — alternate and intertwine. The present day narrative is an opus of disappearance, of accumulating absence, and of psychological discontinuity. The book begins the loss of the protagonist's cat, his job, and his wife. Yet esoterically, for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle's main character, Toru, all three disappearances are tied to Japan's former occupation of China. Thus, a rigorous search for Toru's cat, wife, and a job, do not require a gumshoe's investigation of clues and …

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Chozick, Matthew. "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 August 2007; last revised 15 November 2007.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=12512, accessed 25 September 2016.]