Haruki Murakami

“She clung to the game the way a person clings to a post when a storm threatens to blow him away. And though she had never realized it before, Aomame was a born athlete. She became a central member of both her middle and high school teams and helped them breeze through one tournament after another. This gave her something very close to self-confidence (but only close: it was not, strictly speaking, self-confidence). Her greatest joy in life was knowing that her importance to the team was by no means small and that, as narrow as that world might be, she had been granted a definite place in it. Someone needed her.”

Haruki Murakami
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