Best-selling author Haruki Murakami, in a very rare public appearance, talked about his new book “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and the Year of His Pilgrimage” at a special event at Kyoto University on Monday. He says his latest novel, which has sold more than a million copies a week since it launched last month, is a reflection of his deep interest in people and their relationships with each other.
In his first official public appearance in 18 years, Murakami expounded on what led him to write this story about friendship and the pains of rejection. The last time he appeared in public was in the aftermath of the 1995 earthquake in Kobe where he did a public reading to raise funds for the victims. The event on Monday was in honor of his friend Hayao Kawai, a famous psychologist who passed away in 2007. His talk was attended by around 500 of his fans who won seats to the event through a lottery. He was interviewed by a literary critic, but no recording or filming was allowed. Murakami, who has made it no secret that he is media shy, even joked that he wanted to take a bullet train home when he woke up that morning. He said that he doesn’t speak much in public because he would rather concentrate on his real job, which is to write. Those who attended the event still can’t believe they were finally able to see and hear from their favorite author, whose reclusiveness is part of his worldwide appeal.
His latest opus is his first novel in three years, after the hugely successful 1Q84. It is about a 36-year-old engineer named Tsukuru Tazaki who, at the urging of his girlfriend, goes on a journey to Japan and Finland to come to terms with his friends who rejected him 16 years before. Murakami said that one of the purposes of storytelling is to show something invisible within each person and to create a place where people who read that story can sympathize and identify with that person. The novel is only available in Japanese for now and his English-reading fans would have to wait a few more months before they can read his latest hit.
[ via The Republic ]