The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle was originally published by Haruki Murakami in three sections in the mid-'90s and was translated into English by Jay Rubin in '97. The three books were titled, The Book of the Thieving Magpie, The Book of the Prophesying Bird and The Book of the Bird-Catcher Man.
Murakami began writing when he was 29, writing a few novels and many short stories. His style is dream-like and meditative, lending itself to introspective, pensive fiction. Wind-Up Bird Chronicle represents an emerging awareness of social systems and social-political issues. The book is another demonstration of Murakami's ability to explore the dark facets of human existence.
A portion of the story was published in the New Yorker and a slightly altered version of the first chapter was published in Murakami's short story collection The Elephant Vanishes. Because the Japanese version was released in three parts, Murakami's publishers requested that he cut 25,000 words from the story so it could be published in one volume. The book has two official translations, one American, one English.