"As a young man, Haruki Murakami played records and mixed drinks at his Tokyo jazz club, Peter Cat, then wrote at the kitchen table until the sun came up. He loves music of all kinds - jazz, classical, folk, rock - and when he writes his words have a music all their own, much of it learned from jazz. His career was off and running with his first novel, but it was the unprecedented success of Norwegian Wood in 1987 that made him a national celebrity. He sought anonymity in Europe, then lived in America from 1991 to 1995. Over the years he has grown in stature from exciting newcomer to a major voice in world literature. Rejecting the self-destructive lifestyle expected of the writer, he stopped smoking and started running marathons, but his surreal sense of humour has spared him from taking himself too seriously."