Nobel prize for Literature 2014

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No Nobel prize, but Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is a winner

Tsukuru Tazaki is part of a close quintet of middle-class, suburban students four of whom, by chance, have a surname associated with colour. Tazaki is delighted but slightly bewildered by the intensity of the bond, not least because he is “the only one in the group without anything special about him… there was not one single quality he possessed that was worth bragging about or showing off to others. At least that was how he viewed himself.” Conscious of his lack of “colour” he is content to stay on the edges of the group, an observer of his vibrant friends rather than an active contributor.

Unlike the others he leaves his home town to go to university in Tokyo but keeps in touch, returning often, easily picking up the relationship. Then one day, without warning or explanation, he finds himself expelled from the group and ostracised. Something terrible has happened which they cannot forgive. Efforts to discover what, are futile. The feedback, when he can get any, is that “he knows”.

Mystified, Tazaki is strangely acquiescent to his new fate as an outsider. Apparently


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