Our birthday is a day of the year we’re sure to remember, a marker in time from which it is easy to asses exactly the course our lives have taken over the last twelve months. And so birthdays are a time for taking stock, for making resolutions for change. In this collection Murakami has assembled birthday scenes of family ties wished for, made and broken; of chance meetings and much lamented losses and scenes featuring a spectrum of emotions from joy to despair- of imperfect pasts and uncertain futures. As Murakami’s own style is applauded for brilliantly conveying ’the absolute oddness of ordinary life’ (RUPERT THOMPSON, Esquire) this collection portrays this same minutiae as Murakami would observe it- the mundane events that had an unexpected twist. Previously published in Japan in Murakami’s translation the collection appears here with the addition of an introduction written by Murakami especially for this English language edition.