Reviewed by Namrata
Title: Interpreter of Winds
Author: Fairoz Ahmad
Publisher: Ethos Books ( 2019)
Interpreter of Winds is a collection of four stories which brings together Fairoz Ahmad’s experiences and observations while growing up as a Muslim. In a world where we are (sadly) divided by religion and united by our bitterness towards it all, these stories are an invigorating read. This short collection is a remarkable attempt to interpret faith and capture its challenges.
Ahmad is a young voice who is striving to be the change he wants to see in the world. Having co-founded an award-winning social enterprise Chapter W — which works at the intersection of women, technology and social impact, he has been awarded the Outstanding Young Alumni award by National University of Singapore for his work with the community. He believes that magic, wonder and richness of one’s history and culture, together with their quirks and eccentricities, could help narrow the gap in our understanding. His stories seem to be an amalgam to repair the breaks that whisper incompatibility through the world. Read more
We love Murakami, and all the cats, jazz, whiskey bars, mysterious women, and glimpses at modern Japanese life that populate his books. But there’s a world of magnificent novels out there by Japanese authors who don’t receive as much U.S. press for their work. If you’ve already devoured Murakami’s story collections (like Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman) and his acclaimed novels (including Kafka on the Shore, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, and IQ84), it’s time to add these contemporary Japanese books to your end-of-summer reading list. There’s something for everyone: mysteries and thrillers, teen horror, relationship dramas, and twisted, yakuza-related crime stories, all taking place in locales that may be unfamiliar to American readers. Each will get your imagination churning and your passport begging for stamps. Here’s a sample of our favorite modern books from the land of the rising sun.
By David Cozy
A fan, knowledgeable about an art form in the way that only obsessive fans are, in conversation with a master practitioner of the art in question — that’s what Haruki Murakami and conductor Seiji Ozawa have given us in “Absolutely on Music,” a series of transcribed conversations between the two artists. The combination — fan and master; novelist and musician — is ideal. Murakami is conversant enough with music that the questions he asks Ozawa are intelligent and informed, but since he is a nonmusician who, by his own admission, can barely read a score, the questions are imbued with just enough ignorance of the musician’s craft that they elicit answers that will be enlightening to those of us who may be fans, or even musicians, but are not as well versed as Murakami, let alone a professional like Ozawa. Read more
Source: Japan Times
A tall man, Mukherjee, 57, talks in a slow, deliberate baritone. “I took to Japanese when I was in my 30s, I was already a lecturer at the engineering department here. I had an aptitude for languages, and soon I won a scholarship to visit Japan in 1997. A year later, I was offered the chance to teach at Kanazawa University in Ishikawa Prefecture,” says Mukherjee. During his year-long tenure there, he fell in love with Japanese culture. “They pursue aesthetics as a discipline. I find that fascinating,” says Mukherjee, who has been approved by Murakami to translate the novel. Read more
Officials at Knopf announced today that they will publish The Strange Library, an illustrated story by Haruki Murakami. The book will be released on December 2, and will be Murakami’s second work of fiction published in 2014, following the #1 bestseller Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage, which debuted last month. Read more
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
Murakami’s new book will come with a free sticker set so (adult) readers can decorate the novel. Can you come up with a better – or worse idea?: The Guardian
The honour for the most ludicrous marketing initiative of all time has to belong to the Stranglers’ record company. It cooked up a plan to boost the profile of the band’s famous hymn to heroin abuse, Golden Brown, with a giveaway of Breville Snack’n’Sandwich toasters. But publishing has provided some competition.
The latest contender comes in plans to herald the coming of the newHaruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. First editions of the novel, it was announced at midnight, will include a special sheet of stickers designed by five Japanese illustrators. Read more
Andrew Lee reviews the Murakami novel in The Japan Times
Ryu Murakami is known for the sex-drugs-and-violence style of his fiction and “Coin Locker Babies” has it all.
Published in 1980 Murakami’s dystopian novel has been described as a cyberpunk coming-of-age tale, and it’s easy to see why.
Murakami was projecting several years into the future when he envisioned Tokyo in the late 80s as a violent town with a toxic heart, where criminals and social outcasts congregate. But there is little here that is actually “cyber”: technology is never part of the story. Instead, it’s a punk’s-eye view of the near future where anarchy is on the agenda — a tale of abandonment and revenge, and how when opposites attract the results can be catastrophic.
A subversive thriller about a North Korean invasion of Japan is laced with black humour: A Larman in The Guardian
Ryu, the “other” literary Murakami, is described on the front cover as “The Rolling Stones of Japanese literature”. On the evidence of his 2005 counter-factual novel, now published for the first time in the UK, he’s closer to John Lennon, in that his slyly subversive and witty take on Japanese-North Korean relations is written with an eye to commercial success despite its inherent cynicism, as it manages to maintain momentum over its near 700 pages.