Sunday, January 18, 2015
The Men without Women
The second Haruki Murakami book I managed to finish a few days ago is "The Men without Women", a collection of short stories that appeared in the spring of 2014 in Japanese edition and at the end of the year in Romanian translation. I am so proud Romanian publishers appreciate his work so much as to translate it even if the American publishers have decided not to do it yet, maybe expecting to include the stories in a bigger collection, just as they did with "The Elephant Vanishes"...
Unlike the Japanese version with 6 stories, the Romanian version contains 7 stories, "Samsa in love" being added to it. All the stories except the one that gives the title of his collection had previously been published in different international magazines.
Here are the stories, in short:
"Drive my Car" - an actor and a female driver, both with a less than happy past and with a possible future together.
"Yesterday" - the story of two college students who learn how to love and let go.
"An Independent organ" - the story of a doctor so in love with a married woman that he isolates himself from the world.
"Scheherazade" - probably my favorite story of this collection, it presents Habara, a lonely man visited by a woman who tells him strange stories.
"Kino" - after his wife leaves him, a man opens a bar and thus encounters a strange presence.
"Samsa in Love" - a cockroach wakes up to discover he has been transformed into a human, one that needs to love and to feel loved.
"The Men without Women" -one midnight you are woken up by a phone call that lets you know your previous love died ...
All these Murakami stories seem to echo one another and mix lost love, disappointment and sadness, with a pinch of wonder about what it might have been. I really enjoyed rereading some of them in Romanian and I am looking forward to (re)discovering other short stories of his.