Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart

by Murakami Haruki
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Curator’s note

Murakami Haruki’s works often invoke an ethereal sense of wonder — and loneliness. The words he string together form less of a story and more of a dream, so reading his books feels much like taking a trip up a misty hill: at the end of the journey, the path you took and the things you saw along the way are far less remarkable than the lingering, aching sense of awe and melancholy you’re left to grapple with.


Content warning: this novel contains depictions of sexual activity. 

Sumire is in love with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is glamorous and successful, Sumire is an aspiring writer who dresses in an oversized second-hand coat and heavy boots like a character in a Kerouac novel.

Sumire spends hours on the phone talking to her best friend K about the big questions in life: what is sexual desire, and should she ever tell Miu how she feels for her? Meanwhile K wonders whether he should confess his own unrequited love for Sumire.

Then, a desperate Miu calls from a small Greek island: Sumire has mysteriously vanished...

About the author

Murakami Haruki (Japanese: 村上 春樹) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. Many of his novels have themes and titles that invoke classical music and English pop songs.

This novel was translated by Philip Gabriel.

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