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According to the betting site Ladbrokes, Haruki Murakami has 3/1 odds to win the most prestigious literary prize. Joyce Carol Oates has 6/1 odds and Alice Munro has 12/1 odds.
As literary types speculate about this year’s nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature before the official announcement, UK gamblers are hard at work trying to predict a winner of the prestigious prize.
Betting has been suspended on Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Michael Orthofer speculated about this change on Twitter: “Presumably too much ££ being placed on him … There isn’t a winner yet, but maybe a leak that Ngũgĩ a finalist leading to bets on him?”
Vintage and Anchor Books art director John Gallhas revealed the design for the paperback edition of 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.
We’ve embedded a photograph above–what do you think?
The New York Timeshad more details: “Gall, the art director for Vintage, designed the paperbacks to be visible through a clear plastic box, fitting together to create one image. The list price is $29.95, and Vintage will initially print 50,000 copies.” (Image link via Sarah Weinman)
The summer thriller is filled with enough suspense and twists to keep any beach reader happy, but it is also a book about writing. The main characters are avid readers, and they write letters, articles, journals, kid’s books and memoirs. The novel references other books, little Easter eggs nestled in the plot.
We’ve rounded up our five favorite book references in the thriller, building a spoiler-free library for anybody who wishes they could keep reading Gone Girl…
At the same time, Chinese author Mo Yan has 8/1 odds, Canadian short story master Alice Munro has 8/1 odds and Hungarian writer Peter Nadas has 8/1 odds. Who do you want to win?
Here’s more about the award: “Those entitled to nominate candidates for the Prize are the members of the Academy, members of academies and societies similar to it in membership and aims, professors of literature and language, former Nobel laureates in literature, and the presidents of writers’ organisations which are representative of their country’s literary production. Proposals in writing for the year’s laureate must reach the Nobel Committee by January 31st. A proposal should, but need not, be accompanied by supporting reasons. It is not possible to propose oneself as a candidate, i.e. the Nobel Prize cannot be applied for. There are usually about 350 proposals each year.” (Via Michael Orthofer)
A New Jersey school district has pulled two novels from its required reading list after parents complained about the works. Haruki Murakami‘s Norwegian Wood and Nic Sheff‘s Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines were both pulled from the list after parents complained about their gay sex scenes.
Fox News has more: “The books were on a required summer reading list for middle school and high school students. The district decided to pull the books off the list, with the start of school just days away. ‘There were some words and language that seemed to be inappropriate as far as the parents and some of the kids were concerned,’ said Chuck Earling, superintendent of Monroe Township Schools in Williamstown, N.J.”.
In other censorship news, last week a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle book was banned from a Virginia school district for its depiction of Mormons. In response, we provided you the link to the free download of the banned book A Study in Scarlet.
Today Knopf published an official response to the New Jersey school district that pulled Haruki Murakami‘s Norwegian Wood off a reading list.
Here is the response: “We are disheartened to learn about the action by a New Jersey school district to remove a book from its required reading list due to objections from a group of concerned parents. The novel, NORWEGIAN WOOD by Haruki Murakami, was originally selected for the list based on suggestions by teachers, librarians, and administrators within the district, and the list was approved by the board of education. It is unfortunate the parents felt the need to dismiss such an important work of fiction and regrettable the school district would succumb to such pressure and disregard the recommendation of its own professional educators.”
Below, we’ve included a Storify post about the controversial novel. It includes book reviews, photos, Google books links and social network posts about Norwegian Wood.
Social networks help writers, readers and publishers share stories instantly, but they don’t help us archive those stories for future reading.
The Storify platform will help you quickly preserve everything from Twitter posts to photographs to YouTube videos to news stories on a simple, informative page. Below, we’ve listed five ways authors and publishers can use Storify for literary creations.
Here’s more about the tool: “We make it easy to do [to create] by just dragging-and-dropping, creating beautiful, simple stories. We preserve all attribution and metadata for each element. We let you notify all the sources quoted in a story with one click, a great way to help it go viral. Stories with Storify are interactive, and your readers can re-Tweet or reply to the people quoted in stories. Also, Storify’s API opens up new possibilities for developers to display stories in new ways and on different devices.”
As the 2011 Nobel Prize announcement nears, the U.K. betting site Ladbrokes has posted odds for the prize–putting Thomas Pynchon at 10/1 odds to win the prize for literature.
According to Ladbrokes, the Syrian poet Adonis has the best odds (4/1) to win the award. Swedish author Tomas Transtromer has 9/2 odds and Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami trails at 16/1.
Here is a brief excerpt from “The Edge of the World” by Adonis: “I release the earth and I imprison the skies. I fall down in order to stay faithful to the light, in order to make the world ambiguous, fascinating, changeable, dangerous, in order to announce the steps beyond.” (Via Guardian Books)
Independent booksellers are lining up special events for Haruki Murakami's eagerly awaited 1Q84 (Harvill Secker) with Foyles planning a midnight opening.
The book, Murakami's first since 2007's After Dark, will be published on 18th October, priced £20. It comprises volumes one and two of the story, with volume three published as a separate hardback on 25th October.
The Man Asian Literary Prize longlist was announced today. For your reading pleasure, we’ve collected links to free samples of the books on the prestigious list.
The shortlist will be revealed in January and the winner will be announced in March.
Here’s more: “The Man Asian Literary Prize was founded in 2007. It is an annual literary award given to the best novel by an Asian writer, either written in English or translated into English, and published in the previous calendar year … The winning author is awarded USD 30,000 and the translator (if any) USD 5,000. Submissions are invited through publishers based in any country.”
David Gutersonhas won the Literary Review‘s Bad Sex in Literature Award for his novel, Ed King. The shortlist included books by Lee Child, Haruki Murakami and James Frey.
Washington Post book critic Ron Charles actually predicted the win in his review of the novel in early November.
Here’s more from Charles’ review: “I wouldn’t blame you for skipping this book entirely, but if you must, turn to page 236. What follows are three pages that might very well win the Literary Review’s annual Bad Sex Award, including my personal ‘ick’ moment: ‘Ed smelled vulnerably digestive.’”
Haruki Murakami holds the titles of both the most popular novelist in Japan and the most popular Japanese novelist in the wider world. After publishing Norwegian Wood in 1987, a book often called “the Japanese Catcher in the Rye,” Murakami’s notoriety exploded to such an extent that he felt forced out of his homeland, a country whose traditional ways and — to his mind — conformist mindset never sat right with him in the first place. [. . .]
Rupert Edwards’ camera follows veteran presenter Alan Yentob through Japan, from the midnight Tokyo of After Hours to the snowed-in Hokkaido of A Wild Sheep Chase, in a quest to find artifacts of the supremely famous yet media-shy novelist’s imaginary world. Built around interviews with fans and translators but thick with such Murakamiana as laid-back jazz standards, grim school hallways, sixties pop hits, women’s ears, vinyl records, marathon runners, and talking cats, the broadcast strives less to explain Murakami’s substance than to simply reflect it. If you find your curiosity piqued by all the fuss over 1Q84, Murakami’s latest, you might watch it as something of an aesthetic primer.
In his recent memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami offers readers a glimpse into the thought process of an accomplished runner and the writing process of a highly regarded novelist.His insights may help you (even if you’re not a runner) better grasp the challenges that you face as you sit down at your desk each morning.In these brief excerpts, he talks about the
I love to run, most of the time. Lately, I am training for a half-marathon. In three weeks, I will try to run to Canada and back. Very exciting. The long runs for this, though, have been less fun. Yesterday, for example, I ran 12 miles that seemed uphill the whole way, with rainy wind in my face, and while fasting for Yom Kippur.
While I was running, I was thinking about writing. I do this a lot, especially since reading Haruki Murakami's memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I love Murakami's fiction and I love his parallels between running and writing (which you can read about here).
So yesterday, I was thinking, "How come it's so easy to make myself go running, even when I know it's going to be hard? How come I don't think about a day of running that isn't a race as lost time, but I think of a day of writing that I don't eventually use as a failure? How come I can't treat writing more like running?"
And this morning, it hit me, along with a pulled muscle and a bad case of chills. The reason is this: I ran 12 miles yesterday. It's over. Done. Nobody cares how well I did it. I don't have to look at a video tape and go back and run the bad parts over again. I don't have to re-run chapter three the third mile fifteen more times until I get it right. And I don't have to spend this whole morning staring at three or four words steps of the run, totally unable to figure out how to make them work.
Of course, on the other hand, nobody yesterday told me her daughter actually sleeps with a copy of one of my runs.
It's been a while since I've gotten to reflect on the ins and outs of writerdom, mostly because I've been hanging on by the skin of my teeth in my MFA program. There are just not enough hours in the day.
A few emails ago, however, one of my advisors put me onto a short tome written by a fellow traveler in the writing lane, Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.
I am a dedicated runner, which this advisor knows as we've crossed paths in the wee hours of the morn running during residencies. Although the reading tower is approaching critical heights in my office, I got the book (downloaded it to my Kindle, actually, thus not adding to the teetering tower).
Murakami hooked me right away with these words--"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."
In this life, if you live it even a little, pain is inevitable. Doesn't matter if you're running, swimming, have kids, are married, or, god forbid, decide to try art for a living. Pain is inevitable.
That's a liberating thought. I'm not alone. Everybody suffers! Don't get me wrong, I'm so not taking joy in somebody else's pain. Far from it. I'm just relieved that, well, the pain thing, it's...dare I say it, normal.
Yippee! I'm normal! (Have I been waiting an eternity to say that).
Well, I can either fall into it, or accept the pain and move through it.
Which gets back to the running thing. In running, at least, the longer I work through the pain, the greater the reward when I finish. All I need to do is juxtapose my running attitude to my writing. There will be pain. There is pain. What I do with it, that's the true test.
Yesterday, Betting Pro had more about the odds from Ladbrokes spokesman David Williams. He explained: “We’ve never seen anything like it. Ngugi was a rank outsider when we first looked at the candidates but we fear we’ve got it horribly wrong. Punters cant get enough of him and we’re dreading him being announced the winner.” (Via Michael Orthofer)
In 2007, first-time director Robert Logevall finished an adaptation of “All God’s Children Can Dance” by Haruki Murakami. As the film heads to Japan for the first time this week,The Japan Times interviewed the director about the challenges of adapting Murakami.
We’ve embedded a trailer for All God’s Children Can Dance above. IMDb has more about the film and Amazon has a link to an imported DVD of the film from the Netherlands.
Here’s an excerpt from the director’s interview: “I believe his protagonists are universally relatable. I think around the world, young people particularly can relate to the alienation and spiritual emptiness of their generation that Murakami evokes in his stories. Yes, his writing is very much rooted in modern Japanese society and the foreign reader will probably never understand all its layers and nuances, but nevertheless, I find it makes for a curious and fascinating backdrop. I also believe the humor and surreal elements abundant in his writing do translate well across borders.” (Via Largehearted Boy)
In an interview with the Japanese site Asahi, translator Jay Rubin shared thoughts about working with Haruki Murakami–revealing the impending deadlines for the English translation of Murakami’s three-volume novel, 1Q84.
Rubin (pictured, via) has translated a number of Murakami novels, including Norwegian Wood and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. The translator turned in his translation of the first book in January and must complete the second book by November 15th. He thought that translator Philip Gabriel had the same deadline for the third book.
Here’s more from the interview: “I e-mail him or his editor at Shinchosha Publishing Co. He is a good e-mail correspondent. Many passages of “1Q84″ could be translated into either first or third person, and I have asked him which he prefers in certain cases. He usually advises me to do whatever works best in English…Because Murakami’s style is generally simple, the challenge is to write simple sentences in English that still have rhythm and don’t sound flat or boring.” (Via Michael Orthofer)
Ever feel like you’re being watched on public transportation? Maybe you’ve been spotted by The Book Spy.
This anonymous New York City blogger explained in a post: “Every day, I spend nearly two hours in a dank, dark box hurtling through tunnels under the ground. It is my curse, but also my blessing. In the subway I’m exposed to a culture of readers unequaled elsewhere. They flip through magazines, shuffle through print-outs, and contort their newspapers into elaborate origami folds to keep the pages from encroaching upon their neighbors. Above all they read books. Books of every shape, size, genre, and format.”
Descriptions include book title, author, MTA subway line, and a description of the reader. Some recent books spotted: The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, and the Bible.
Designer Chip Kidd has made covers for Haruki Murakami for years, and he unveiled his latest cover for 1Q84 (embedded above) at the Knopf Doubleday site.
His essay reveals more about the plot of this massive novel.
Here’s more from Kidd: “By using a semi-transparent vellum for the jacket, and printing the woman’s image in a positive/negative scheme with the title on the outside layer and the rest of her on the binding, once the jacket is wrapped around the book it ‘completes’ the picture of her face. But something odd is definitely going on, and before the reader even reads a word, he or she is forced to consider the idea of someone going from one plane of existence to another.”
The streaming music service Spotify has landed in the United States, allowing readers to create and share playlists drawn from millions of songs online. Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service.
Once you have an account, explore our Haruki Murakami Spotify Playlist. We love making music mixes, so we will create more playlists for writers. If you have more ideas for a particular playlist, you can always add your suggestions in the comments section–we will update our mix.
Our new playlist for the Japanese novelist included songs mentioned in Murakami’s novels South of the Border, West of the Sun, Norwegian Wood and the upcoming 1Q84. The Millions blog has the first paragraph from 1Q84, revealing Murakami’s affection for the Czech composer, Leoš Janáček. Our playlist contains the composer’s complete Sinfonietta.