Thursday, April 17, 2014

The New Short Story Collection Released at Midnight

The new short story collection by Haruki Murakami titled "Onna no inai otokotachi" was released at midnight in some Tokyo bookstores. The title was perhaps inspired by Hemingway's 1927 short story collection Men Without Women. The image of the cover appeared on the Japanese Amazon site just a few minutes after midnight. The collection includes 6 stories, 5 of them published previously in literary magazines and the title story (for details and titles see the post of March 15). According to some internet sources the first print run will be 300 thousand copies.

Pictures of the first happy buyers can already be found on the internet:

The article reports that the release was preceded by an event called "Biburiobatoru" (Biblio Battle?) where people "talked about Haruki Murakami's work." However, given that the event had a winner and was called a "battle", it must have been some kind of a contest rather than a discussion. The winner was a 32-year-old company employee, Mr. Hayakawa who was given the right to buy the first copy of the new book. Having looked at it briefly he said: "The writing style has charm. Last year was a full-full length novel [referring to Tsukuru Tazaki] so I wasn't able to read it overnight, but tonight I want to read the new story before going to bed." 
Apparently there was a countdown before midnight and at 12am a group of fans set off fire crackers in front of the Shinjuku Kinokuniya. 

Here is a link to an article in Asahi Shinbun covering the event.

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