Toru, a serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. As Naoko retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.
A magnificent coming-of-age story steeped in nostalgia, Norwegian Wood blends the music, the mood, and the ethos that were the sixties with a young man’s hopeless and heroic first love.
When I open this book, the first page contains four dates in my scrawly handwriting: 2010. 2011. 2013. 2016.
It's a strange thing with memory. I do not remember how I first got this book. Whether it was recommended to me, or if I found it myself. But I remember the moment when I fell in love with the story. I was 21 and for a few months in Tokyo. Alone and far away from everything that has shaped my life. Sitting in the park, looking up after a few chapters, it overwhelmed me. As if I finally remember something. Something I have not known yet and maybe always missed. At that moment, I sensed that this city was waiting for me.
I did not take the book back to Germany, but left it with my relatives. In all my subsequent trips to Japan, after some time, I ran out of reading material and I reached back to "Norwegian Wood". Four versions of my ego - in four different phases of my life - have read this book. Some things I've read differently over the years. But that one feeling kept coming back.
How many years will be added?