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On April 27th, Shinchōsha will publish another book related to Murakami Haruki, called The Horned Owl Takes Flight at Dusk (みみずくは黄昏に飛びたつ), or Haruki Murakami: A Long, Long Interview). The book is a long, long interview (11 hours, 250,000 characters) of Murakami by Kawakami Mieko, herself an award winning writer from Osaka (her novella Breasts and Eggs [乳と卵] won the Akutagawa Prize in 2008). It will cost 1,620 yen and can be pre-ordered now.
Kawakami Meiko asks Murakami Haruki everything!
11 hours; 250,000 characters; “an entire book” of an interview
The secret story of the birth of Killing Commendatore, memories of boyhood, feminism, global fame, and what happens after death… An Akutagawa Prize-winning author and a passionate, avid reader since her teens asks Murakami Haruki everything.
Not just an interview
How do you come up with similes?
What does it mean to “descend to the second story underground”?
Is it true you can write without deciding on the ending?
What are “ideas” and “metaphors”?
Actually, a story about a man seeking a man?
Why is writing style important?
Aren’t women tasked with too many sexual roles?
What does it mean to accept your “shadow”?
Do you always write ten pages a day, no matter what?
Why did you return to the first person voice?
Why don’t you read your prior works?
What does it feel like to have your new work read by tens of thousands of people?
Now that you’re globally famous, are there critics you want to go back and respond to?
What happens after we die?
Will there be a “Murakami Haruki Prize”?
A precious record of the origins of creative works, and their bare faces, that everyone wanted to know but couldn’t ask, drawn out through vivid words
Publisher Shinchōsha has announced Murakami Haruki is going to publish a new novel in Feb 2017.
The image says:
First super-long novel in 7 years
Publication set for Feb 2017
2,000 pages completed, 2 volumes total
He said it’s going to be “a very strange story, longer than Kafka On the Shore, and shorter than 1Q84.” Those novels sold more than 4 million & 8.4 million copies, respectively. (Source: Asahi Shimbun)
It’s been almost 4 years since his last novel was published, in 2013. That was Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.
He published the short story collection Men Without Women in 2014.
Want ongoing updates (in Japanese)?
Below I explain how to subscribe to email updates from the publisher about the novel.
– Go to the Shinchōsha website.
– Click the black button, or this link. It says, “Those seeking forthcoming information, [click] here.”
– Click the black button. It says “Send.”
I’ll aim to publish the updates here as they come out.
World-renowned Japanese writer Murakami Haruki has a new book out, his first collection of short stories in nine years. The title is「女のいない男たち」or The Men Without Women, and it includes six new stories, all of which were first published in the last six months.
While Murakami’s novels are always published in English within a year or so of their initial publication (the next one, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, will come out this year), his short story collections are not usually published in English. That is, the publishers usually make their own collections, such as in the case of The Elephant Vanishes (17 stories spanning the 1980s, and published 12 years later in Japanese as「象の消滅」). The Chinese publishers seem to do the same thing. The difference is that the Chinese publishers will take a well-known story, make it the title of a collection, and publish it with a bunch of lesser-known stories. The English-language publishers seem to publish fewer, larger collections and simply don’t bother to translate and print the lesser-known stories. Thus, I surmise that this book may never come out in English as The Men Without Women. Fans who don’t read Japanese will have to wait for the next short story collection.
As for the title, I translate it as The Men Without Women rather than Men Without Women (or Men Whose Women Are Gone, etc.) because otoko tachi (rather than simply otoko) seems to refer to specific men. Indeed, in each of these six stories, the protagonist is a man without a woman. However, it is probably not a coincidence that Ernest Hemingway published a collection of ten short stories about men in 1927, called Men Without Women, and the name of that book in Japanese translation is—you guessed it—Onna no inai otoko tachi. It was translated by Ayukawa Nobuo in 1982, just when Murakami was beginning his writing career.
The Japanese Wikipedia page includes some trivia about the new book. Apparently, it is usual that it does not include a preface. The two stories “Drive My Car” and “Yesterday” were supposedly altered somehow before publication in the book, and “Drive My Car” has already been translated and published in Korean by Yang Eog-gwan (梁億寬).
Below are the front and back covers of the book, with English translations of the story titles, descriptions, and dates/places of publication. All translations are mine, and thus later publications may make different choices.
The Men Without Women
First issue April 20th, 2014
[His] short story world for the first time in nine years.
That story is
And exceeds expectations.
Bungei Shunju publication / Fixed price (JPY 1574 + tax)
Six stories that intertwine and echo.
“Drive My Car”
Bungei Shunju Dec. 2013
Stage actor Kafuku hires Misaki, a female driver. Why did his deceased wife have to have a relationship with that man? Little by little, he began to tell Misaki.
Bungei Shunju Jan. 2014
What is the strange “cultural exchange” proposed by his classmate Kitaru, from Den-en-chōfu but who can speak perfect Kansai dialect? And then, 16 years passed.
Bungei Shunju Mar. 2014
What did his friend, the confirmed bachelor Dr. Tokai, obtain for the first time by sacrificing his life?
MONKEY Vol. 2 Spring 2014
Shut up in the “house” that is a lonely island on land, Habara is toyed with by the story that even the world finds captivating, told by the “contact person” woman after the affair.
Bungei Shunju Feb. 2014
Betrayed by his wife, Kino quit his job and opened a bar. Then at certain times, a strange presence would envelop the place.
“The Men Without Women”
First published here
One night after midnight, a phone call from his former lover’s husband came to deliver sad news.