Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Short Story Wednesday: "My Cheesecake-Shaped Poverty" Haroki Murakami

 Kevin, my grandson, has been reading Murakami in school. He even had to write a story in the style of Murakami. I would love to read it. I often wonder if they ever read the writers we read fifty years ago. It seems not. Certainly they are rarely white male authors.

This is a very ordinary story for a writer known for his unusual stories. A young and very poor couple rent a house on a triangle-shaped property well outside of the city. The reason for the very low rent is that trains pass by incessantly day and night. They cannot hear each other speak. They live here for two years.  This has to be a true story because I see no other reason Murakami would write it. I guess it's just to point out what poverty forces on people. Although most young couples lived a version of this.


Margot Kinberg said...

I think you're right, Patti, that plenty of young couples faced (still do) some sort of this existence. The story does sound as though it's inspired by something he lived; or perhaps someone he knew lived that way.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Wow, I know Kevin's growing up, but thinking of him reading Murakammi really brings it home.

I finished HOMESICK FOR ANOTHER WORLD by Ottessa Moshfegh and I can't help but wonder about her, what her life is like, and where all these things came from (much as in the Murakami story). Some very odd and bizarre stuff here.

Two new books of stories are up next: NORTH AMERICAN LAKE MONSTERS by Nathan Ballingrud, recommended in a book George reviewed, 101 HORROR BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU'RE MURDERED.nd UNDER INVESTIGATION by Jeffrey Marks, with Ulysses S. Grant as the detective/protagonist.

George said...

Maybe Kevin will follow you and Megan into the writing business! I'm working on our taxes so not much pleasure reading this week.

Casual Debris said...

Sadly in this day and age of housing crises, older couples are also suffering from low rent living.

I have one up for this week:


TracyK said...

I loved this story, Patti. I have read nothing by Murakami. I had seen this group of flash fiction stories at the New Yorker but had not read any of them. I will go back and try more of them.

I will have a short story post for next Wednesday.

Todd Mason said...

I suspect the notion of constant trains making spoken conversation impossible was the irresistible notion for Murakami.