Credit: Google Images
The English translation of Haruki Murakami’s IQ84 finally hits U.S. bookstores tomorrow. Originally published in three volumes between 2009 and 2010 in Murakami's native Japan, the novel sold out on its first day and reached one million sales within its first month of publication. Here in the U.S., it will be released in a single, 944-page volume.
I first discovered Murakami--who is known for incorporating surreal elements and exploring loneliness, ennui, and loss--about five years ago when I picked up his Kafka on the Shore. The novel is massive in scale, depth, and size. It's hypnotic power absorbed me so thoroughly that I wanted to disappear into the book, possibly forever. I've since read as many of his books as I could find, but Karka on the Shore remains my favorite. Whether IQ84 will change that remains to be seen, but either way, I'm looking forward to the journey.
If you live in the New York area and are a Murakami fan, consider celebrating the event at (and supporting) Word, an independent bookstore in Brooklyn.
They’re hosting a Read-a-Thon and midnight release party at 10:30 p.m. tonight. Wine, donuts, and ‘a small number of super-limited-edition signed copies of 1Q84’ will be available. A raffle will determine the winners, who will receive their copies at midnight.
Participants are invited to read their favorite passage from any of Murakami books. Word asks that participants email their selection to firstname.lastname@example.org in advance so as to avoid duplicate passages.
Also, attendees are required to pre-order and pre-pay for their copy of 1Q84, which they can do online.
For Murakami fans and those not yet acquainted with his work, here are some links to recent articles:
Alex Hoyt interviews Murakami translator Phillip Gabriel in “How Haruki Murakami’s ‘1Q84’ was translated into English” posted today at The Atlantic. Visual included.
A few weeks ago, Jason Boog suggested five tips for writers who want to know “How to Write Like Haruki Murakami.”
BBC News Magazine’s Stephanie Hegarty wrote a fantastically thorough piece on Murakami and his rise to international acclaim, “Haruki Murakami: How a Japanese writer conquered the world.” If you don’t know anything about him, this article provides a great introduction.
A favorable review by The Telegraph’s Anthony Cummins is available here: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.
William Ambler wrote an unfavorable review for The Huffington Post: “1Q84: I’m not a fan.”