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The Japan Times review's The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami

The Japan Times

The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami by Matthew StrecherConsider this hypothetical conundrum: Haruki Murakami is (finally) awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, but what does the author have to say for himself on Japanese television?

More than likely, nothing. If you hadn’t noticed, Murakami doesn’t do interviews on TV here. If, or when, the Nobel is decreed, he’ll say something, all right — Murakami is far from media-shy — but he won’t say it on TV, because he is not a fan of being filmed. So NHK and all the other networks will have a big hole where Murakami should be. They’ll have to turn to talking heads to fill airtime.

Matthew Carl Strecher, a professor of Japanese language, literature and culture at Winona State University in Minnesota, thinks that for Murakami the call will eventually come. Strecher’s new book, “The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami,” is his third to pry open the writings of Murakami. He touches briefly on “Murakami’s Nobel,” as well as the author’s testy relationship with the bundan (Japan’s literary establishment).


Continue reading the review here.