From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Murakami's first work, the short novel Almost Transparent Blue, written while he was still a student, deals with promiscuity and drug use among disaffected Japanese youth. Critically acclaimed as a new style of literature, it won the newcomer's literature prize in 1976, although some observers decried it as decadent. Later the same year, Blue won the Akutagawa Prize, going on to become a best seller. In 1980, Murakami published the much longer novel Coin Locker Babies, again to critical acclaim.