There is no question that the stories of Haruki Murakami are provocative.

They are also very popular with students who read them as Literature in Translation.

It’s hard to ignore the student appeal of short stories with titles like ‘On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning’ or ‘The Elephant Vanishes’ or ‘UFO in Koshiro’ or ‘Super Frog Saves Tokyo.’

In the two collections, After the Quake and The Elephant Vanishes, Murakami offers a wealth of material to feed the imagination, challenge comprehension, and privilege the surreal.  Jay McInerney suggests the further range of possibilities in Murakami’s stories by asserting that ‘he captures the common ache of the contemporary heart and head.’ These are things we need to attend to in our literature classes, I think.

So if you have not thought of including these stories–while also considering the advantage of many different Written Assignments–please give them a look.

And to add to the interest, a Kickstarter project by the Bit Byterz team has come up with what looks to be a very interesting video game based on the Murakami story, ‘A Shinagawa Monkey,’ but extending to others. Below is a clip from the journal Poets and Writers which describes this very interesting marriage of literature and gaming. I couldn’t locate it today, but we should be able to find it soon.  Or maybe someone else will locate it?