Haruki Murakami is a Japanese writer. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work being translated into 50 languages and selling millions of copies outside his native country. The critical acclaim for his fiction and non-fiction has led to numerous awards, in Japan and internationally, including the World Fantasy Award (2006) and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award (2006). His oeuvre received, for example, the Franz Kafka Prize (2006) and the Jerusalem Prize (2009).
Murakami’s most notable works include A Wild Sheep Chase (1982), Norwegian Wood (1987), The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994–95), Kafka on the Shore (2002), and 1Q84 (2009–10). He has also translated into Japanese English works by writers ranging from Raymond Carver to J. D. Salinger. His fiction, still criticized by Japan’s literary establishment as un-Japanese, was influenced by Western writers from Chandler to Vonnegut by way of Brautigan. It is frequently surrealistic and melancholic or fatalistic, marked by a Kafkaesque rendition of the “recurrent themes of alienation and loneliness” he weaves into his narratives. He is also considered an important figure in postmodern literature. Steven Poole of The Guardian praised Murakami as “among the world’s greatest living novelists” for his works and achievements.
So what is the meaning of his quote? The storm is the challenges that we face in life; whether they are health related, job related or family related. Life is a series of challenges punctuated by sporadic moments of happiness and the goal is to achieve a balance. It will never be perfect; although some people may purport to have a perfect life, the reality is otherwise. I have personally experienced the storm throughout my life but I am also grateful for the good things that have been a part of my existence. The second part of the quote is that you won’t be the same person after you come out of the storm. My doctor once told me that I would become a stronger and more resilient person after suffering from and getting through a depression. And it’s true. I believe that adversity builds character. I believe that the challenges of life exist to make us stronger. I believe that the storm is a difficult, yet integral part of the journey of life. So don’t fight the storm, accept it as part of life and let it strengthen you and make you a better person.