Murakami T: The T-Shirts I Love

Haruki Murakami. Knopf, $25 (192p) ISBN 978-0-593-32042-6
In this collection of beguiling pieces novelist Murakami (1Q84) wrote for the Japanese fashion magazine Popeye, he reflects on his collection of T-shirts and the comfortable, quippy, and blithely consumerist aspects of life they represent. An “I Put Ketchup on My Ketchup” T-shirt prompts a fond tribute to American hamburger joints; a selection of car-brand shirts sparks a discussion of why Ferrari or Porsche T’s make one look like a rich jerk while Volkswagen T’s are tastefully middle-class; lizard T-shirt images remind Murakami of uneasily stroking the scaly creature at a zoo, while bird images remind him of getting attacked by crows while out running; and a T-shirt with a dog cartoon provokes a warning to men that they may feel “a little uncomfortable” wearing such adorable designs: “chances are very good that a girl or woman will tell you ‘Woah—that’s so cute!’ ” Seekers of deep cultural analysis should be advised that Murakami’s pensées resolutely avoid that. (“In crowded, noisy bars,” he observes in an essay on beer T-shirts, “you have to shout out your order to the bartender, and I’ve found through experience that the one brand I can pronounce so that it gets through to them is Heineken.”) Murakami’s many fans will eat up this charming ramble. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM Partners. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/17/2021
Release date: 11/16/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-0-385-66331-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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