‘I Am a Novelist’ by Murakami Ryū, translated by Ralph McCarthy

Murakami Ryū is so compelling. This has an amazing premise, too – a writer gets a call from a hostess club where someone has been impersonating him, running up a massive drinks tab, and having an affair with one of the hostesses at the club.

First published in Japanese in the collection Run, Takahashi! in 1986.. Collected in Tokyo Decadence: 15 Stories, Kurodahan Press 2016. I cannot find a version of this online, but apparently it’s available to subscribers of The New Yorker through online archives… I think…

‘The Last Picture Show’ by Ryu Murakami

A terrible snob at times, I love the fact that not many people know Ryu as opposed to his more famous namesake Haruki. As the Stones were (for some) to the Beatles, this Murakami is the Rolling Stones, or better still for me, the Small Faces of that face off. His novels are mind-blowing and his shorts let us glimpse corners of the bigger picture that is modern/post war Japanese pop culture.

First published in Ryu’s Cinematique, 1985. First published in translation in Tokyo Decadence, translated by Ralph McCarthy, Kurodahan Press, 2015. Available to read online here