Live at Winter-Owl Reading Party

December 17, 2019 By mk

Tonight, attended “Winter-Owl Reading Party” hosted by Haruki Murakami and Mieko Kawakami in Shinjuku. It proceeded in the form of “alternate reading” where Murakami and Kawakami read the novels alternately.

The reading party was held at Kinokuniya Southern Theater ran by Kinokuniya bookstore

Murakami read “On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning” and the excerpt of “Confession of Shinagawa Monkey”, the new short story he had wrote a couple of weeks ago and will be published early next year. I would not like to spoil, but confirm that this “humorous surrealistic story with the human language speaking monkey who likes Bruckner #7 at the hot springs ryokan (inn) regarding the ultimate love and solitude” was really really good and written in the style that only Murakami could do so.

Afterwards, Murakami read a part of Kawakami’s “Heaven” with admiration on her expression on death. At the end, Kawakami read a part Norwegian Wood; Midori’s statement on rice balls and Naoko’s last letter. Every piece of the reading and chatting were perfect. Great night indeed thanks.

Added on the next day, December 18, 2019

Even though I was just one of 500 attendees, I could fully understand his outgoing personality without any maestrolike attitude but with very charming magic in the way of speech, which made everyone smile.

The ticket was non-transferable, and the right to buy the tickets were sold on a lottery basis, as such public reading was held for the first time in the last 25 years in Japan, and the first time ever in Tokyo.

AP news reported with more details in English