Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Murakami’s 1st novel in 6 years to hit stores in April

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TOKYO (AP) — A new Haruki Murakami novel will be published in April and the publisher is saying little about it except that the Japanese manuscript is around 1,200 pages and the plot involves “a story that had long been sealed.”

“The City and Its Uncertain Walls” will be released on April 13 in both print and digital formats, Shinchosha Publishing Co. said in a statement on Wednesday. The availability of an English translation is not yet known.

In a brief promotional and cryptic teaser, the publisher said: “Must go to the city. No matter what happens. A locked up ‘story’ starts to move quietly as if ‘old dreams’ are woken up and unraveled in a secluded archive.”

It added that the book is a “soul-stirring, 100% pure Murakami world.”

Staff at the publisher said details about the plot are being withheld because many Murakami fans say they prefer to start reading his books without knowing what they are about.

It is unknown if the new novel is related to Murakami’s 1980 story with the same title that was published in a literary magazine but never released as a book.

The novel is Murakami’s first since “Kishidancho Goroshi,” or “Killing Commendatore,” was released in February 2017.

A perennial candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Murakami, 74, published his debut book, “Hear the Wind Sing,” in 1979 while running a jazz bar in Tokyo. His 1987 romance “Norwegian Wood” became his first bestseller, establishing him as a young literary star. Known for his magical realism, Murakami has also penned bestsellers such as “A Wild Sheep Chase,” “The Wind-up Bird Chronicle” and “1Q84.” His latest, “Killing Commendatore,” sold more than a million copies.

A library devoted to Murakami’s writings, scrapbooks and record collection opened in 2021 at his alma mater, Waseda University, in Tokyo as a venue for literary research and cultural exchange and a gathering spot for his fans.

Murakami is an avid music collector who appreciates genres ranging from classical to jazz and rock, and music serves as an important motif in many of his stories. Since 2018, Murakami has hosted a “Murakami Radio” show on Tokyo FM in which he plays some of his favorite music and provides occasionally humorous commentary and music trivia. He has also sometimes spoken out against political leaders.

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