Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Finding Murakami

The title is, of course, a play on the name of another book: A Wild Sheep Chase, which was the first of Haruki Murakami’s novels to be published in North America. It was not, of course, to be the last. Norwegian Wood, After Dark, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore have all been published in more than 40 languages. Haruki Murakami’s work is celebrated around the world. But why? What is it about this writer’s subtle prose that has attracted such a huge international following?

The Japan Foundation asked a select group of international artists -- writers, critics, translators, a few others -- this very question. Jay Rubin, Richard Powers, Roland Kelts and Issey Ogata among them. A Wild Haruki Chase (Stone Bridge Press) is their reply. And there’s a promise: “You’ll never read Murakami the same way again.” We’ll see.



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