Haruki Murakami appears to be as popular as ever, as fans of the author queued up outside bookstores across Japan awaiting the release of his latest book, The City And Its Uncertain Walls.
This is the first novel by the author in six years, but despite this, his popularity persists. One bookstore even had a two-story LED countdown clock.
His latest work is based around a protagonist within a walled city and how they experience this location throughout the various stages of their life. The 74-year-old wrote the 661-page book during the pandemic lockdown restrictions.
Discussing this process in a statement, he said: “I started writing this novel in early March 2020, when the coronavirus started raging in Japan, and it took me almost three years to finish.”
The book is written in three parts, with fans of the Japanese author well-accustomed to Murakami’s complex and compelling plots. The BBC has stated that Murakami’s “plot points are merely jumping-off points for explorations of loss, isolation, identity and increasingly, social and political events.”
The BBC also described excitement within the Japanese bookstores as fans eagerly awaited the title’s release.
They wrote: “Many readers dived straight in upon getting their copy. Pictures online showed readers curled up in all-night cafes, with cups of coffee by their side.”
One fan described what attracted them to the works of the Norwegian Wood writer.
They said: “Sometimes they are ‘me’ and sometimes they are ‘not me’, and that creates a sense of absorption. For me, his novels are like warm and soft mud. You get comfortably drawn and absorbed into these stories.”
An English translation of The City And Its Uncertain Walls is expected later this year.
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