Even if you haven’t read a single book by Murakami, chances are high that you’ve at least heard his name once in literary circles. Well, Murakami is in the news again- that’s right. A new book of his is on the horizon. Here’s a Murakami primer if you’re not aware of him or his works.
- Haruki Murakami is a Japanese writer. He is a prolific creator- having published countless novels, short stories and works of non-fiction. Wikipedia’s English entry for Murakami says the bibliography section of his is incomplete. When was the last time Wikipedia said anything was incomplete?
- Murakami writes in Japanese and his works then get translated into English. This means that there is always a time delay between when his books get published in Japan and the rest of the world.
- The latest novel by Murakami is going to be published in English in September 2018.
- The latest book will be titled ‘Killing Commendatore’ and will revolve around a painter and a mysterious painting that he discovers.
- Murakami also translates English works into Japanese- some of his recent translations include works by Raymond Chandler.
- The most recent ‘new’ work of Murakami’s published in English was the short story collection ‘Men without women’.
- Murakami has been publishing since the 1970s.
- His novels vary in style and genre from straightforward to positively mind beffudling.
- Cats are a recurring theme in his books
- So are mysterious women
- So are characters who seem to have very grounded jobs but unexplained inexhaustible sources of income.
- You will be foolish to expect a rounded up ending from a Murakami book. Expect to end with more questions than answers.
- Murakami’s daily schedule involves running. He wrote a non-fiction on the theme of running.
In my opinion, the most memorable Murakami quote is from ‘Kafka on the Shore’
Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step.
But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
So who’s waiting for Killing Commandatore?