Amitrano, Giorgio. The New Japanese Novel: Popular Culture and Literary Tradition in the Work of Murakami Haruki and Yoshimoto Banana. Boston: Cheng and Tsui, 1996. An accessible introduction to the work of Japan’s most famous contemporary novelists, Murakami and Yoshimoto Banana.
Japan Foundation. A Wild Haruki Chase: Reading Murakami Around the World. Berkeley, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press, 2008. A collection of essays exploring the “Murakami phenomenon,” namely, how Murakami is read and translated throughout the world.
Napier, Susan J. The Fantastic in Modern Japanese Literature: The Subversion of Modernity. Florence, Ky.: Routledge, 1996. An examination of the fantastic in contemporary Japanese fiction, film, and comics and how it relates to the nation’s anxieties and fears. Part of the Nissan Institute/Routledge Japanese Studies series.
Rubin, Jay. Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words. New York: Random House, 2001. Rubin, a professor of Japanese literature at Harvard and one of Murakami’s translators, takes an exhaustive look at Murakami’s life and works. A concise and complete critical introduction to Murakami’s books.
Seats, Michael. Murakami Haruki: The Simulacrum in Contemporary Japanese Culture. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2006. Seats discusses the relationship between contemporary Japanese culture and Murakami’s fiction, concluding that there are glaring comparisons to be made between Murakami’s works and Japanese modernity and technology.
Strecher, Matthew. Dances with Sheep: The Quest for Identity in the Fiction of Murakami Haruki. Flint: University of Michigan, Center for Japanese Studies, 2002. Strecher’s critical study argues for Murakami’s relevance (rejecting the notion of Murakami as a pop author). Relying heavily on theory, Strecher aims to begin a serious critical discussion of Murakami’s work.
_______. Haruki Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”: A Reader’s Guide. New York: Continuum International, 2002. An accessible and informative guide and companion to Murakami’s best-received novel.
Suter, Rebecca. The Japanization of Modernity: Murakami Haruki Between Japan and the United States. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, Asia Center, 2008. Discusses Murakami’s role as a kind of “mediator” between Japanese and American literature.