Haruki Murakami fans: Brush up on your Japanese

February 18, 2013
A new novel from Haruki Murakami in April will be his first since the bestselling "1Q84" was published in the US in 2011. A new novel from Haruki Murakami coming in April will be his first since the bestselling “1Q84″ was published in the US in 2011.

News broke this weekend that Haruki Murakami will release a new novel in April. A brief statement from his Japanese publisher gave no indication of when the book would be translated into English or made available in the United States.

UPDATE 2/19: Knopf publicity director Nicholas Latimer said Tuesday, “There is nothing in the pipeline at the moment. We have not yet commissioned a translation.” 

Murakami’s previous novel, the 925-page “1Q84″ was released in the US by Knopf in 2011, two years after it had been published to wide acclaim as a trilogy in Japan. It went on to sell millions of copies around the world in more than 40 languages. In his Washington Post review, Michael Dirda described Murakami as “a brilliant practitioner of serious, yet irresistibly engaging, literary fantasy.” The Post chose “1Q84″ as one of the best five novels of 2011.

Murakami’s name frequently appears on lists of potential Nobel Prize winners, and this weekend, speculation began immediately about what strange elements his new novel will contain. But for now, we don’t even know the title. Only one thing is sure: Japanese speakers will find out first.

charlesr@washpost.com

 

Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.
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