Japan Society Book Club: Underground by Haruki Murakami

November 9, 2015 @ 6:00 pm
The Japan Society
13-14 Cornwall Terrace Mews
Marylebone, London NW1 4QP
Japan Society
020 3075 1996
Japan Society Book Club: Underground by Haruki Murakami @ The Japan Society

In spite of the perpetrators’ intentions, the Tokyo gas attack on 20 March 1995 left only 12 people dead, but thousands were injured and many suffered serious psychological after-effects. In Underground, Murakami interviews the victims to try and establish precisely what happened on the subway that day. He also interviews members and ex-members of the doomsday cult responsible for the domestic terror attack in an attempt to understand their reasoning and how it was that their guru managed to instill such devotion in his followers.

The book club is held on the second Monday of every month. There is no restriction on the nationality of the authors read, but books should be available in both Japanese and English. The discussion is conducted mainly in English, but you can choose the language in which you read the book. The intention is simple: to explore the themes of the book, express personal opinions on the style and content, discuss how the book has changed (or not) in translation and to have a relaxed discussion with others who have similar interests.

Haruki Murakami (村上 春樹 Murakami Haruki, 1949) is a prolific contemporary Japanese writer, successful in the West as well as in his native country. In 1978 Murakami was in the bleachers of Jingu Stadium watching a baseball game between the Yakult Swallows and the Hiroshima Carp when the American Dave Hilton came to bat. In the instant that Hilton hit a double, Murakami realized that he could write a novel. He went home and began writing that night, and hasn’t stopped since.