Rife with allusions to The Beatles, the Second World War and to other works of his, Murakami’s Norwegian Wood is the story of Toro Watanabe. It follows the Japanese college student’s life in Japan and his relationship with the emotionally fragile, wistful and melancholic Naoko.
Published by RHUK as a paperback in English in 2001, Norwegian Wood is narrated in the first person, in Murakami’s trademark conversational tone. The story chronicles the complicated relationship that Toru has with beautiful Naoko, who is committed at a mental health institution. She is also the girlfriend of Toru’s best friend, who committed suicide.