Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. He is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His works include Norwegian Wood, A Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. His work has been translated into more than forty languages, and the most recent of his many international honours is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V.S. Naipaul.
Twenty-two-year-old Sumire is in love with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is glamorous and successful, Sumire is an aspiring writer who dresses in an oversized second-hand coat and heavy boots like a character in a Kerouac novel.
Surprised that she might, after all, be a lesbian, Sumire spends hours on the phone talking to her best friend K about the big questions in life- what is sexual desire and should she ever tell Miu how she feels for her.
Frustrated in his own love for Sumire, K consoles himself by having an affair with the mother of one of his pupils. Then a desperate Miu calls from a small Greek island and asks for his help, and he discovers something very strange has happened to Sumire.