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Sputnik Sweetheart was first publiHaruki Murakamid in 1999 followed by Kafka on the Shore in 2002 with the English translation following in 2005. Murakami said "Each of us possesses a tangible living soul. It was chosen by the New York Times as a "notable book of the year".
He is considered an important figure in postmodern literature. Murakami's fiction often criticized by Japan's literary establishment is humorous and surreal focusing on themes of alienation and loneliness.