Haruki Murakami will publish his first short story collection in nine years this spring. Men Without Women will feature five previously published stories (including the controversial “Drive My Car”) and one new story. The book comes out in Japan in April, but there is no word on when we’ll see an English translation.
We already knew that Haruki Murakami was a writer and runner but a former jazz club owner, too? Aaron Gilbreath visited Murakami’s 1970s jazz club, Peter Cat, and found “a drab three-story cement building. Outside, a first-floor, a restaurant had set up a sampuru display of plastic foods.” For more Murakami, read our review of 1Q84.
Not everyone is a fan of Haruki Murakami’s latest short story, “Drive My Car.” Residents of Nakatonbetsu, Japan claim Murakami sullied its reputation when he suggested that residents throw cigarettes from car windows. The offending passage reads: “Probably this is something everyone in Nakatonbetsu commonly does,” a character thinks when he tosses his lit cigarette out. Hopefully, the smoke clears soon.
When The Beatles made Rubber Soul, the band probably didn’t realize it would inspire some of the greatest contemporary fiction. First, Haruki Murakami named his novel Norwegian Wood. Now, “Drive My Car" inspired his new short story. Bungeishunju published the story today, but English readers are still waiting on the translation. Until then, we can always listen to the album. Pair with: Our essay on the soundtracks behind books.
Among Haruki Murakami’s many significant literary achievements is the fact that the author has – since the 1990s – become “responsible for triggering and fueling the Japanese literature boom in South Korea.”
'Do you have the key for this lock?' she asked Samsa.
‘I haven’t the slightest idea where the key is,’ he answered honestly.
‘Ah, Gregor Samsa, sometimes you make me want to die,’ she said.
He woke to discover that he had undergone a metamorphosis and become Gregor Samsa.
1. You drink your coffee black.
2. You have a deep and abiding love for old jazz records.
3. You find it easy to have emotionless sex with strangers. If you were to describe the sex to a friend you would use the most abstract language possible, but you never do because you have no friends.
I sat down in the shrine grounds under the early-summer sun, and gazed around again at the surroundings, trying to get used to what I was seeing. Absorbing and accepting this scenery as naturally as I could, mentally and viscerally. Trying to remember how I was back then. But this was all going to take a long time, as you might imagine.