Authors: Haruki Murakami
©2014 HARUKI MURAKAMI
All rights reserved. The use of any part of this publication, reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or stored in a retrieval system without the prior written consent of the publisher—or in the case of photocopying or other reprographic copying, license from the Canadian Copyright Licensing agency—is an infringement of the copyright law. • Doubleday Canada and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House of Canada Limited. • Originally published in Japan as
Shikisai o Montani Tazaki Tsukuru to, Kare no Junrei no Toshi
by Bungeishunj? Ltd., Tokyo, in 2013. Copyright © 2013 Haruki Murakami. • Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication • Murakami, Haruki, 1949- [Shikisai o motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to, kare no junrei no toshi. English] Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage / Haruki Murakami; translated by Philip Gabriel. • Translation of: Shikisai o motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to, kare no junrei no toshi. • Issued in print and electronic formats. • ISBN 978-0-385-68183-4 (bound) ISBN 978-0-385-68184-1 (epub) • I. Gabriel, Philip, 1953-, translator II. Title. III. Title: Shikisai o motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to, kare no junrei no toshi. English • PL856.U673S45313 2014 • 895.63’5 • C2014-903123-8 • C2014-903124-6 • This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. • Printed and bound in the USA • Jacket Design by Chip Kidd • Published in Canada by Doubleday Canada, a division of Random House of Canada Limited, a Penguin Random House Company. •
From July of his sophomore year in college until the following January, all Tsukuru Tazaki could think about was dying. He turned twenty during this time, but this special watershed—becoming an adult—meant nothing. Taking his own life seemed the most natural solution, and even now he couldn’t say why he hadn’t taken this final step. Crossing that threshold between life and death would have been easier than swallowing down a slick, raw egg.
Perhaps he didn’t commit suicide then because he couldn’t conceive of a method that fit the pure and intense feelings he had toward death. But method was beside the point. If there had been a door within reach that led straight to death, he wouldn’t have hesitated to push it open, without a second thought, as if it were just a part of ordinary life. For better or for worse, though, there was no such door nearby.