Murakami’s message on the upcoming novelApril 10, 2023
Today, a message from Haruki Murakami was released regarding his new novel, the City and Its Uncertain Walls, to be released on April 13.
I began writing this novel in early March 2020, when Covid began to rage in Japan, and it took me almost three years to complete it.
During that time, I could hardly leave my home, did not travel for long periods, and worked on this work day after day in a rather strange and stressful environment, like a Dreamreader reading old dreams in a library.
Such a situation may have meant something or nothing, but it probably meant something. I am sure of it, having felt it myself. Haruki Murakamiunauthorized translation
Interestingly, the message itself is part of his riddles.
From spring 2020 to the present, he has been participating in live events at the Haruki Murakami Library and travelling abroad; in addition to being a radio DJ, he has published essay books. And everyone knows that (and he himself knows that everyone knows that).
Yet, as this message suggests, something inside Murakami must have been deeply closed off as he continued to work on the new novel.
During the time of feeling stuck due to Covid, I believe something may have crystallized and emerged, along with the memories of his unpublished novel of 1980.
In August 2020, Murakami said to high school students, “There are two ways of writing about Covid. One is to write it precisely. The other is to write the story by replacing it with something completely different. As a novelist, I feel that’s my main job, but I believe many writers have started writing something about it.”
This week, Murakami’s own response to “what a novelist should write at the time of pandemic” will be published in the form of a novel.
The announcement posters are posted on the walls of bookstores all over Tokyo. This is what we have been looking forward to.
May the pandemic come to a complete end soon, and the hearts that have been hurt during that time be healed.