After the Quake
First US edition cover
Kami no Kodomo-tachi wa Minna Odoru
|Genre||Short story collection|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|LC Class||PL856.U673 K36 2000|
After the Quake (神の子どもたちはみな踊る? Kami no Kodomo-tachi wa Mina Odoru, lit. "The children of the gods all dance") is a collection of 6 short stories by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, written between 1999 and 2000. First published in Japan in 2000, it was released in English as after the quake in 2002 (translator Jay Rubin notes that Murakami "insisted" the title "should be all lower-case").
The stories were written in response to Japan's 1995 Kobe earthquake, and each story is affected peripherally by the disaster. Along with Underground, a collection of interviews and essays about the 1995 Tokyo gas attacks, and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, a complex exploration of Japan's modern history, After the Quake represents part of an effort on the part of Murakami to adopt a more purposeful exploration of the Japanese national conscience.
The stories in After the Quake repeat motifs, themes, and elements common in much of Murakami's earlier short stories and novels, but also present some notable stylistic changes. All six stories are told in the third person, as opposed to Murakami's much more familiar first person narrative established in his previous work. Additionally, only one of the stories contains clear supernatural elements, which are present in the majority of Murakami's stories. All of the stories are set in February 1995, the month between the Kobe earthquake and the Tokyo gas attacks. Translator Jay Rubin says of the collection, "The central characters in After the Quake live far from the physical devastation, which they witness only on TV or in the papers, but for each of them the massive destruction unleashed by the earth itself becomes a turning point in their lives. They are forced to confront an emptiness they have borne inside them for years."
|Story||Originally published in|
|UFO in Kushiro||The New Yorker|
|Landscape with Flatiron||Ploughshares|
|All God's Children Can Dance||Harper's|
|Super-Frog Saves Tokyo||GQ|
|Honey Pie||The New Yorker|
BBC Radio 3 broadcast a dramatized adaptation of After the Quake on September 16, 2007. The single 88 minute episode covered four of the six stories from the book: UFO in Kushiro, Thailand, Super-Frog Saves Tokyo and Honey Pie.
Honey Pie and Superfrog Saves Tokyo have been adapted for the stage and directed by Frank Galati. Entitled After the Quake, the play was first performed at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in association with La Jolla Playhouse, and opened October 12, 2007 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
A feature film of the story All God's Children Can Dance was released in 2007.
.DC: JPN (after the quake 2011), an EP inspired after each story from After the Quake was released in March 2011 following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami to help benefit the relief efforts by musician Dre Carlan.