Haruki Murakami’s 1st novel in 6 years goes on sale in Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People buying Haruki Murakami’s new novel immediately after its release at a bookstore in Shinjuku, Tokyo, on Thursday after midnight.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Renowned Japanese writer Haruki Murakami’s first full-length novel in around six years hit bookstore shelves in Japan on Thursday.

“Machi to Sono Futashika na Kabe” (The City and Its Uncertain Walls) is the first such work by the 74-year-old writer since “Kishidancho Goroshi” (Killing Commendatore) in 2017.

Around 70 people, mainly fans, gathered to wait at Kinokuniya Co.’s flagship bookstore in Tokyo’s busy Shinjuku Ward until Murakami’s newest novel went on sale at Wednesday midnight.

Murakami spent nearly three years writing the 672-page book.

The novel had attracted attention as its title was very similar to a novella written by Murakami in the past. The novella appeared in the monthly literary magazine Bungakukai in 1980, a year after his debut as a writer, but it was not made into a book.

Holding the just-purchased book, 27-year-old Takumi Hashimoto, who visited the bookstore from Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, said, “It’s heavier than I expected.”

“I want to spend the entire night reading the novel from front to back,” Hashimoto added.