“Only novels can make people feel through words that they went through actual experiences. Depending on whether or not people experience those stories, their thoughts and ways of seeing the world should change. I want to write stories that will penetrate the heart. I have a lot of hope in the power that novels hold,” said Haruki Murakami, the seventy-year-old Japanese novelist, in an interview with Japan Times.
The interview introduces his latest novel, Killing Commendatore, where the protagonist, a thirty-six year old artist goes into his paintings. He weaves the natural and supernatural to explore reality and admits that his protagonist is based partly on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gatsby.
A popular novelist, Haruki Murakami was the sixth recipient of the Franz Kafka Prize in 2006, given in recognition of “humanistic character and contribution to cultural, national, language and religious tolerance, its existential, timeless character, its generally human validity and its ability to hand over a testimony about our times”. He has received many awards at both international and national levels and has three doctorates, including one from Princeton University.
Haruki Murakami’s novels delve often into the surreal to establish his perspective. He has been writing from the age of twenty-nine. Many of his books have been translated and made into films. Murakami has been praised by Steven Poole of the Guardian as “among the world’s greatest living novelists”. Murakami’s best known works are A wild Sheep Chase (1982), Norwegian Woods(1987), The wind- up Bird Chronicle (1994-95), Kafka on the Shore( 2002) and IQ 84 (2009-10).
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