Murakami’s New Book

It seems like one of my favourite authors is releasing his memoir soon. The title of the book is “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” and I think he got the inspiration for the title from Raymond Carver’s short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” which is an excellent story and Murakami is one of Carver’s fans, having also translated all of his works into Japanese. In fact Murakami has been hugely influenced by Carver and when he read Carver for the first time, Carver’s “So Much Water So Close to Home”, he was “literally shocked” and regarded Carver as his teacher and literary comrade.*

The publisher’s blurp:

“What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, the new memoir from Haruki Murakami, is on sale July 29th. Pre-order now and get free shipping!

In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he’d completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, not to mention triathlons and a dozen critically acclaimed books, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and—even more important—on his writing.

Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and takes us to places ranging from Tokyo’s Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston among young women who outpace him. Through this marvelous lens of sport emerges a panorama of memories and insights: the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer, his greatest triumphs and disappointments, his passion for vintage LPs, and the experience, after fifty, of seeing his race times improve and then fall back.

By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is rich and revelatory, both for fans of this masterful yet guardedly private writer and for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in running.

To celebrate the publication of What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, from now until August 15, 2008, get free shipping when you order this or any of the other incredible works of Haruki Murakami from RandomHouse.com. Simply enter the code MURAKAMIRUNNING at checkout. ”

*Reference: Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words by Jay Rubin

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Murakami’s New Book

  1. It is always heartwarming to read something about Haruki Murakami. His books are now becoming popular in the west and i am glad to see that people in non-japan Asia are also on his reader’s list. In a surrealistic way, he has fused his japanese self, a sense of deep surrealism, the common penchant for europeanization in which the japanese lead the rest of the asian continent, his exquisite taste in Jazz, after all he used to own a Jazz Bar. He is a writer like no other.
    Japan has produced wonderful writers over the years, two of them in recent memory have won nobel prizes in literature. I was hoping that my favourite writere from Indonesia, Pramoedya Ananta Toer would win it but he passed away in recent years, let us hope that Haruki Murakami will be considered for this noble acknowledgement for his deep and unending talents.
    thanks, Ho.
    Dr Yehuda, University of Havana, Cuba

  2. fallingstones

    Hi Dr Yehuda, thanks for visiting my blog and for commenting! Indeed I find Haruki Murakami fascinating, his alternating of what is real and what is surreal is amazing, and his words flow like water. Although he is very much influenced by Carver in style, he is also very strongly influenced by Kafka and very often, when I read Murakami, I am also reminded by the feelings I felt when reading Kafka.

    Re the other two Nobel prize winners, I have strong feelings for Kawabata’s THE GO MASTER since I am myself a Go player although in terms of literary merits, it may be slightly slack compared to other works. What do you think?

    I really hope to see Haruki Murakami win that prize too, as well as an author from Malaysia. I wonder when we will produce authors of such caliber.

    Thank you again for commenting. Ho.

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