Kafka on the Shore
Why this book?
I could have filled this entire list with books by Japanese authors. It is a generalization but I find the writing from this country to be so very unique. Quirky, perceptive, direct, and utterly enthralling, however mundane the subject. Kafka on the Shore was the book that started this passion for me and remains a masterpiece of surrealist fiction in my mind. It follows the story arcs of a man that can talk to cats and a boy that has run away from home, following them on their spellbinding journey. I haven’t come across many books that manage to lift you so completely out of your life and place you in a world where you escape the unwanted familiar. Perhaps this is cheating but you must also check out Hiromi Kawakami, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Hiro Arikawa.