Haruki Murakami is a Japanese post-modern writer and translator who's won numerous international accolades including the Franz Kafka Prize and the Jerusalem Prize. His novels include Dance, Dance, Dance, South of the Border, West of the Sun, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Kafka On the Shore and Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, among others. His work often features mind-bending or surreal elements (though Norwegian Wood does not).He studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo and received honorary doctorates from the University of Liege and Princeton University.
Norwegian Wood, titled after the Beatles' song of the same name, is an originally Japanese-language novel dealing with young love, sexuality, grief, loss and nostalgia. It was published in Japan in 1987 and became a best seller. It was published in English in 1989, then again in 2000. It has also been translated into French, German and Italian, among other languages. A film adaptation was released in Japan in 2010. The film debuted at the Venice International Film Festival and was released in the U.K. and the U.S. in 2011.
Naoko — Naoko is a shy, beautiful young woman who comes from the same town as Toru and had an intense relationship with her childhood sweetheart, Kizuki. She cares for Toru but her mental health issues and traumatic life prove too difficult to overcome. She commits suicide after an extended stay at a remote sanitarium. Midori Kobayashi – Midori is a friendly, attractive student who strikes up a friendship with Toru. She feels her parents did not love her, and lives with her elder sister. She’s looking toward a bright future after spending so much of her youth caring for dying parents and running the family book store. She falls in love with Toru and is willing to wait for him — to a certain degree.