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When November Arrives, by Dominic Pierre

This post is part of 805's “My Home Library” series that features writers and artists enjoying their home libraries.

To this day, I recall the first time picking up Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, running my eyes and pen over various lines, and feeling myself sink deeper into not only the narrative but my subconscious. From the opening page, the narrator, Toru Watanabe, says,

"I straightened up and looked out the plane window at the dark clouds hanging over the North Sea, thinking of what I had lost in the course of my life: things gone forever, friends who had died or disappeared, feelings I would never know again."

For the last three years, I created a ritual to reread Norwegian Wood as soon as the temperatures in New York City drop and daylight savings time opens the door for seasonal depression to inflate existing depression.

The voice of Toru Watanabe scratched a soul-tingling itch that I only ever thought Holden Caulfield from JD Salinger's novella The Catcher in The Rye could reach.

Now, when I say that, I mean to say both characters scratched my back in completely different phases of life. Indeed, I've graduated from the thoughts that Holden once represented (teenage angst) and moved on to Toru Watanabe, who, on the other hand, was more human and relatable to me than any main character of a novel has ever been.

Throughout the novel, many lines have been underlined. One of the many provides an odd sense of comfort on page 79, wherein thought, Toru says:

"All I knew—with absolute certainty—was that Kizuki's death had robbed me forever of a part of my adolescence. But what that meant, and what would come from it, were far beyond my understanding."

Norwegian Wood, extensively about depression alongside the inner trappings and existential bleakness that often bogs us down, guarantees me an odd sense of warmth each November, knowing that I can (and will) move on from things that tend to feel eternal.


Dominic Pierre is a writer and editor based in New York City. When he isn't writing, Dominic enjoys watching Daria and listening to Indie music. His work has appeared in CP Quarterly, Winnow Magazine, Dreams Walking Magazine, and Moonchild Magazine.


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