New Murakami Book Published in EnglishSubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Mon, 08/11/2014 - 13:58
For those who are interested in such things. Norwegian Wood was his first book that I read, and the only one I've ever read in the native Japanese. Probably at the top of my list of his is The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. I was there for his reading at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle when it was released, and to this day it is my regret that I did not wait in line to have him sign my copy. The line was so long.
Any other Murakami fans here? But without further ado:
Haruki Murakami’s new book peels back the layers of friendship
By Daniel Morales | Special to the Japan Times
August 9, 2014
Haruki Murakami has made his name in the West with the translations of his tome-like novels, but it was 1987′s relatively slim Norwegian Wood that made him famous in Japan. And his latest big hit here is similarly slender.
“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage,” which is released in English this week, sold a million copies in its first week when it was released in Japan last year, but it is a short book that favors the realism of “Norwegian Wood” over the lengthy metaphysical adventures of his other novels. Almost as if to disguise this fact, publisher Knopf has released the translation in a short, squat format that draws out the page count to nearly 400 pages. First editions will also include stickers that readers can use to decorate the cover.
Despite these tricks, the novel is one of Murakami’s better works of recent years. He succeeds in conveying the intense emotional landscape of the titular Tsukuru, a Nagoya-born “millennial” whose given name — a homophone for “to build” or “to construct” — corresponds with his work as a train-station designer.
Tsukuru grows up with four close, “colorful” friends: two men and two women who all have kanji for colors in their surnames and who refer to themselves by those colors. Aka (Red) and Ao (Blue) are the men, respectively a sharp intellect and the rugby captain, and Shiro (White) and Kuro (Black) are the women, the former willowy and quiet, the latter more full-figured and quick-witted.
Continue reading at the Japan Times