The title -- both titles -- are an obvious reference to Murakami's book about running (What I Talk about When I Talk about Running), which in turn is a reference to Carver's story, "What We Talk about When We Talk about Love," translated by Murakami. Notice that the Japanese title not only gives Murakami's name in English, but also in the English order (given name first), unlike in Japanese. This is because the book is about Murakami in English. It tells the story of how Murakami's early works were edited, cut, and molded to make him a success in the West - an approach that clearly paid off. David interviewed the main characters involved in this enterprise: translator Alfred Birnbaum and editor Elmer Luke (who used to work for Kodansha International). He also talked to the British editor, to editors at Knopf and The New Yorker, to Jay Rubin, and many others. The book is eye-opening, enabling one to better understand how Murakami became the literary star that he is in the West. It's also a great read.
David Karashima teaches creative writing at Waseda University in Tokyo. He has translated a numbr of Japanese writers, including Hitomi Kanehara, Hisaki Matsuura, and Shinji Ishii.