Book Review: BIRTHDAY GIRL BY HARUKI MURAKAMI
‘She waited on tables as usual that day, her twentieth birthday.’
Initially ‘Birthday Girl’ was released in 2002 in Japanese. This edition of Murakami’s story, translated from Japanese by Jay Rubin published on the occasion of the author’s 70th birthday in January 2019. It entails a story of a waitress at an Italian restaurant in Japan’s Roppongi, where she works overtime on her twentieth birthday instead of enjoying the night because her fellow waitress called it sick.
There is a rather intriguing description of the owner of the restaurant and it will sure give you some chilling times within the 42-page read. The aspiring girl who just turned twenty is given the task to deliver food to him, where she encounters a thoughtful event.
‘May you live a rich and fruitful life, and may there be nothing to cast dark shadows on it.’
Her encounter with the owner makes you rethink what you would’ve wished for on your twentieth birthday, if only it could really come true.
The short story being another gripping piece of Murakami’s brilliant writing stands to keep itself a little at the surface unless you delve deep into your own thoughts about what a birthday wish would be like to you. The vague inlets of magical segments are interesting but would demand a little perspective from the reader’s end. A lot of insightful moments will linger when you are into reading ‘Birthday Girl’, and a lot of thought about life will erupt even once you’re through with it.
I hope this helped you if at all you had any second thoughts. It is an interesting read and a great way to tread into the wider works of Murakami.
Get your copy of Murakami’s ‘Birthday Girl’.