Novelist as a Profession

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Haruki Murakami's creative experiences and reflections on life.

Hi, welcome to Bookey. Today, we will be unlocking the book ‘Novelist as A Profession’.

When speaking of Japanese literature, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Perhaps some people will think of the Japanese writer Kazuo Ishiguro who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2017. Or, Yasunari Kawabata’s ‘Snow Country’, and the author of ‘Norwegian wood’, Haruki Murakami might come to mind. The latter is in fact the author and main character of the book we are going to talk about today. This book provides a retrospective look and reflection on his 35-year writing career.

Haruki Murakami is a postmodern Japanese writer and one of the most famous and popular novelists in the world today. His first novel ‘Hear the Wind Sing’ earned the Gunzo Award for Best First Novel. He published ‘Norwegian Wood’ in 1987; the Japanese edition sold more than ten million copies and was adapted into a film. ‘1Q84’, published in 2009, was said to be a milestone for Japanese literature entering the new millennium. Moreover, ‘Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage’, published in 2013, sold a million copies in seven days, breaking the record for the fastest book to sell a million copies in the history of Japanese literature. He received the Jerusalem Prize in 2009 and the Danish Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award in 2015.

Although Haruki Murakami is successful in literature, he was neither a talented novelist nor did he grow up wanting to become one at an early age. Before he switched to being a novelist, Haruki Murakami ran a store that played Jazz music and served coffee, liquor, and foods. He entered the literary world after the age of 30, and then on began his lifelong career as a writer.

Many people say that writing is hard, but Haruki Murakami, who didn’t start writing until later in his life, does not agree. According to him, anyone can lift up their pen and start writing a novel. He further says that even someone with little talent can write a very good novel on their first try. As such, why is it that among all the people who have literary dreams, can only a few become novelists? Why can only a few write for a living, and successfully turn it into a lifelong career? In ‘Novelist as A Profession’, Haruki Murakami reveals his thoughts and talks about the most important part of his 35-year writing career, sharing his motivation and the secret behind his enduring perseverance.

We will now deliver the essence of ‘Novelist as A Profession’ in three parts and share the ups and downs of Haruki Murakami’s literary path:

Part one: How was Haruki Murakami’s literary potential cultivated?

Part two: How did Haruki Murakami begin to write novels?

Part three: How did Haruki Murakami expand his career as a novelist?

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