Reading Beyond Murakami Course Series

Master the works of Haruki Murakami in this transformative 12 course series.

"In this world, there are things you can do alone, and things you can do with somebody else. It's important you combine the two in just the right amount."

Haruki Murakami wrote these words in After Dark, and they stand true when it comes to reading and studying Murakami. You can read him "alone," but he ought to be studied with "somebody else."

Without a learning community, I fear the significance of Murakami's work is lost on many readers. I yearned for this kind of community and mentorship when I began reading him over a decade ago.

Each course in this course series is designed for individuals who consider themselves Murakami enthusiasts and want to dig deeper into the theories and philosophies influencing his mind-bending stories.

As a result of taking these courses, you will begin to recognize the many theoretical interpretations his novels lend themselves to. You will become better readers with each new chapter, adding to your already vast array of knowledge and expertise. You will connect and grow with curious, engaged, and enthusiastic minds.

The Reading Beyond Murakami Course Series is ideal for the life-long learner wanting to continue to challenge oneself or the college or graduate student looking to specialize in Haruki Murakami and literary theory.


  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World & Literary Theory (10 week course) - this course is also being offered live in March 2018
    • Psychoanalysis
    • Hyperreality
    • Unconscious
  • Murakami & Magical Realism (14 week course)
    • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
    • The Wind Up Bird Chronicle
    • Kafka on the Shore


  • Kafka on the Shore & Literary Theory (12 week course)
    • Myth
    • Memory
    • Psychoanalysis
  • Murakami & Time (12 week course)
    • 1Q84
    • After Dark


There are twelve total courses planned for the Reading Beyond Murakami Course Series, all of which are included in the course series. Additionally, if there are any other courses developed on the works of Murakami, Reading Beyond Murakami Course Series participants will be automatically enrolled in them. The course series includes access to the Murakami Reading Group, so even between course offerings, our Reading Beyond Murakami community reads one story or 50 pages a week of a novel and participates in written and video discussions.

Each course is a product of hundreds of hours of research and includes different combinations of the following elements:

    • Literature Tutorials
    • Discussion Threads
    • Reading Guides
    • Email Support
    • Live Online Discussions
    • Further Reading & Resources
    • Private Facebook Access


    These three courses focus on the evolution of three different concepts, memory, metaphor, and the unconscious, across Murakami's entire body of work.
    • Murakami & Memory
    • Murakami & Metaphor
    • Murakami & the Unconscious
    **These courses are only available to RBM Lifetime Members and will not be for sale to the public.


    The Reading Beyond Murakami Course Series Membership includes lifetime access and priority registration for every Murakami course. Students can study the material at their own pace or follow the curriculum with each new group of students.
    • Past Courses
    • Current Courses
    • Future Courses
    When students purchase the RBM Course Series Membership, they will immediately access all current and past courses available. This means students do not need to wait for each course to open for enrollment. Additionally, they will be automatically enrolled in all future courses under the Murakami umbrella. Courses will be occasionally re-offered, so Lifetime Members can take each course live or at their own pace. Lifetime Membership includes:
    • Murakami Reading Group
    • Lifetime Access to Each Course
    • Priority Registration
    • Self-Paced Option
    • Private Facebook Group Access
    • Exclusive Monthly Newsletter
    • Exclusive Bonus Course Access

Your Instructor

Jessica S. Manuel
Jessica S. Manuel

Jessica S. Manuel earned her B.A. in English with an emphasis in Critical Theory and a minor in Theological Studies from The Master's University. She went on to earn her M.A. in English (Literature) from San Francisco State University where she studied 19th-20th Century Literatures with a special studies emphasis in Critical Theory. After examining the intersections of psychoanalysis and contemporary literature, she wrote her thesis on Haruki Murakami's use of the unconscious in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

After finishing her degree, she continued her education at University of California, San Diego where she studied and earned certificates in teaching adult learners, literature, and online teaching and learning. She offers online adult literature courses for life-long learners through Book Oblivion Academy and also teaches writing and literature courses at the college level.


These adult literature courses are designed for the literary enthusiasts who miss the classroom so much it hurts. Most participants are working professionals who want to learn from the convenience of their own homes, offices, or on their commutes. Some participants have read all of Murakami's works while others crack open their first Murakami novel with us.

We have students enroll from all over the world, including Australia, Spain, Romania, Hong Kong, Canada, India, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and all over the United States. The community aspect of this course is a precious gift. Participants leave every course with a firm grasp of each philosophical concept's imprint on the literary field while also considering some of the more unique narrative devices that Murakami employs in his work.


"I've recently joined and love the RBM course; Jessica S. Manuel is a fine instructor and the course materials are sophisticated and insightful. Highly recommended."

- Jeffrey Rogg, Prosecuting Attorney, Michigan, United States

β€œThe Reading Beyond Murakami course series continues to be wildly rewarding for me as it has reignited and transformed my passion for literature, theory, and philosophy as well as it has helped to make me a lifelong learner! These courses are designed for students of any age and are flexible for everyone. Even if you have read Murakami a hundred times or have never heard of him, I, and the community, welcome you to take the plunge and take hold of your own education!”

- Noah Blacker, English Major, Ohio State University, Ohio, United States

"I'm so excited to be doing this course. I feel like I've found my tribe and I'm so glad I opted for the 'lifer' membership. Writing that brings a smile to my face as it has a fatalistic 'end of the world' Murakami-esk ring to it - lifer. Isn't that great? Murakami's novels are strangely like that. Once you've read one or two you are kind of hooked - F O R L I F E."

- Andrea Day, Artist, Perth, Australia

"I am really enjoying reading Hard-Boiled Wonderland and am enjoying being part of an interactive community that will help deepen my understanding of the novel and its influences and references."

- Karen Rodrigue, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Texas, United States

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have access to the course series?
How does lifetime access sound? Once you purchase the Lifetime Membership, you will be automatically enrolled and have unlimited access to each course as soon as they are published for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course series?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
Do I need to wait for the next session to take an in-progress course?
Nope! Lifetime Members can start their journey toward Murakami mastery right away. Members will get access to all currently available courses and lessons and will be automatically enrolled in all future Murakami courses.

Enroll Now!