Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami has been named the 2007 fiction winner of the Kiriyama Prize.

Following on the heel of his inventive and 'daringly original' Kafka on the Shore, Blind Willow is a collection of 24 stories, from the surreal to the mundane, that 'exhibit his ability to transform the full range of human experience in ways that are instructive, surprising, and relentlessly entertaining'

The Kiriyama Prize was established in 1996 to recognize outstanding books about the Pacific Rim and South Asia that encourage greater mutual understanding of and among the peoples and nations. The Prize consists of a cash award of US $30,000, which is split equally between the fiction and nonfiction winners.

Mr Murakami has declined to accept the award for reasons of personal principle.