By Daniel Morales
Haruki Murakami has lost his magic.
After two consecutive novels written in the third person (2009’s “1Q84” and 2013’s “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage”), Murakami has returned to first-person narration with his latest novel, “Kishidancho Goroshi” (“Killing Commendatore”), published in Japan and so far only in Japanese, on Feb. 24. In it, he is unable to capture the same energy of the wry, poignant protagonists that drove his books in the 1980s and ’90s.
The novel relates the story of an unnamed 36-year-old portrait artist living in Tokyo. When his wife, Yuzu, suddenly wants a divorce and admits she’s been seeing someone else, he clears his schedule and goes on a month-long road trip to Hokkaido and Tohoku before settling in a house on the top of a mountain in rural Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, where he plans to paint for himself for the first time in years rather than taking portrait work. Read more
Source: The Japan Times
By Daniel Morales
CHICAGO – Haruki Murakami has put scientists to shame. Harvard geneticists recently announced that they are two years away from bringing the wooly mammoth back from extinction, while Murakami is releasing his latest mammoth tonight: His novel “Kishidancho Goroshi” will be published in two 500-page volumes via Shinchosha and given the English title “Killing Commendatore,” according to the publisher’s website.
Shinchosha has highlighted the fact that this is the 68-year-old Murakami’s first honkakuteki (“full-fledged”) novel in seven years since 2009’s “1Q84,” although he has kept busy in the interim. Murakami published the shorter “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” in 2013 with publisher Bungeishunju, and a collection of short stories titled “Men Without Women” in 2014, so he likely put his most recent work together in three short years.
What should readers be expecting with this new release? Ever since spoilers leaked for 2002’s “Kafka on the Shore,” Murakami has kept plot details a tight secret, but as a writer he has several tendencies. Read more
Source: The Japan Times
For author and character, the book is a story of a life examined and reclaimed. Tsukuru seeks out his friends at the urging of a woman he has started dating. Murakami said he began “Colorless Tsukuru” around three years ago as a work of short fiction, but soon found himself caught up in Tsukuru’s mystery. The author didn’t know at first why Tsukuru’s friends had abandoned him and he expanded the narrative as a way of finding out.
“I had to know his past,” Murakami said. “I’m making it up and at the same time I’m finding it.” Read more
Haruki Murakami displays vintage form in his latest novel, but loses the plot in the end, says Srikanth S: Tehelka
Haruki Murakami has nothing left to prove. He is the most widely read Japanese novelist of his generation. One of those rare writers whose works consistently garner both critical acclaim and mass appeal in equal measure. The reclusive author’s popularity can be gauged by the fact that the latest editions of his novels advertise only his surname (Wonder what his close friend and fellow author Ryū — who shares the same family name — has to say about that). Read more
Very few writers reach the stage of being able to include in their books wry references to their failure to win the Nobel prize in literature. But, in Bech at Bay (1998), John Updike awarded his authorial surrogate, Henry Bech, the Swedish medal and cheque that Updike feared (correctly, it proved) he was doomed never to win himself. And now the 14th work of fiction by Haruki Murakami, a Nobel favourite in recent years among the bookmakers but not the judges, features a young physics student lamenting that few in his profession make much money unless they “win the Nobel prize or something”. Read more
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, already topping charts across Europe, will be published in the UK in August: The Guardian
Haruki Murakami’s UK publisher has announced that the Japanese author’s latest novel, which is currently topping charts in Germany, Spain and Holland, will be released in August in the UK.
Harvill Secker said that Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage would be published in English on 12 August, in a translation from Philip Gabriel. The book sold one million copies in its first week on sale in Japan last April, and new translations in German, Spanish and Dutch are already topping bestseller lists, according to the publisher. Read more