In a small, inconsequential city in Japan, all that matters to 17-year-old Kensuke Yazaki and his friends is girls, rock music and, to a much lesser extent, school. Told at high speed and with irresistible humour by Kensuke himself, this is the story of their 1969, as they engage in heated conversations about Marxism, Rimbaud, Godard, the Beatles and the Stones, set up a barricade in their school, organise a rock festival and map out a highly successful strategy in girl-winning. This is a young Japan entirely turned towards the West, pervaded by Western music, where the girls have nicknames pulled from famous British films, but still locked in a fight with the rigid post-war conservatism of the older generation.
Born in 1952 in Nagasaki prefecture, Ryu Murakami is the enfant terrible of contemporary Japanese literature. Awarded the prestigious Akutagawa Prize in 1976 for his first book, he has gone on to explore with cinematic intensity the themes of violence and technology in contemporary Japanese society. His novels include Coin Locker Babies, Sixty-Nine, From the Fatherland, with Love and Popular Hits of the Showa Era, all published by Pushkin Press, as well as Audition and In the Miso Soup. Murakami is also a screenwriter and director; among his films are Tokyo Decadence, Audition and Because of You.