This is the fifth book I am reading by this wonderful author, the previous ones being Dance,Dance,Dance and the 1Q84 trilogy. Here is the first page from Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami.
On 4 October 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world's first man-made satellite, Sputnik I, from the Baikanor Space Centre in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Sputnik was 58 cm in diameter, weighed 83.6 kilograms, and orbited Earth in 96 minutes and 12 seconds.
On 3 November of the same year, Sputnik II was successfully launched, with the dog Laika on board. Laika became the first living being to leave the Earth's atmosphere, but the satellite was never recovered, and Laika ended up sacrificed for the sake of biological research in space.
from The Complete Chronicle of World History
In the spring of her twenty-second year, Sumire fell in love for the first time in her life. An intense
love, a veritable tornado sweeping across the plains - flattening everything in its path, tossing things up in the air, ripping them to shreds, crushing them to bits. The tornado's intensity doesn't abate for a second as it blasts across the ocean, laying waste to Angkor Wat, incinerating an Indian jungle, tigers and everything, transforming itself into a Persian desert sandstorm, burying an exotic fortress city under a sea of sand. In short, a love of truly monumental proportions. The person she fell in love with happened to be 17 years older than Sumire. And was married. And, I should add, was a woman. This is where it all began, and where it all ended. Almost.
At the same time, Sumire - 'Violet' in Japanese - was struggling to become a writer. No matter how many choices life might bring her way, it was novelist or nothing. Her resolve was.........
- Debolina Raja Gupta