"My previous work, '1Q84,' deals with the disappearance of the boundary between ordinary daily life and the bizarre, but I wanted to write a realist novel this time," he said in response to a question from essayist Yutaka Yukawa. "I wrote 'Norwegian Wood' (1987) with realism, and it was criticized as a literary retrogression. My latest novel may also be criticized along the same lines, but it has been a new attempt for me. I do not think I could have written it three or four years ago."
Toward the end of the interview, Murakami answered some of the 1,500 questions submitted to him for the event. Excerpts of the Q&A follow: