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Haruki Murakami's '1Q84' coming to America this year

Harukimurakami_08 American fans of Japanese author Haruki Murakami can celebrate -- his next novel is coming to American bookshelves in the fall.

The much-anticipated "1Q84" was released in Japan in 2009 in two 500-plus-page volumes. The book's plot was kept largely under wraps, causing a flurry of advance orders and quickly launching it to the top of the Japanese bestseller lists.

The English-language translation will be published in the U.S. by Knopf on Oct. 25 as a single volume, GalleyCat reports.

Murakami's works, such as "Kafka on the Shore" and "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle," have earned him an avid following of readers who crave smart and challenging literature. They've been waiting some time for a new novel from the writer, who some consider among the world's best. It's been close to four years since his most recent novel, "After Dark," was published in the U.S.; a short memoir, "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" came out a year later. Both were L.A. Times bestsellers.

"1Q84" is said to be a pun on George Orwell's "1984" -- the Japanese word for "Q," apparently, being a homonym for the number 9.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Haruki Murakami in 2008. Credit: Random House

Comments () | Archives (10)

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We have been waiting too long!

There's no Japanese letter "Q" (or single equivalent); the play is on the number 9 itself. In Japanese, the counting number 9 is "kyuu", which is pronounced the same as our letter "Q".

Other than that -- this is very welcome news indeed!

"the Japanese word for "Q," apparently, being a homonym for the number 9"

There is no Japanese word for "Q." The number 9 is pronounces "kyuu"


he's the best contemporary author around.
can't wait to get my hands on the book.
i've read almost all of his works, with the exception of 'after the quake' and 'underground'. he's amazing !

1Q84 has 3 volumes, not 2!

1Q84 has 3 volumes, not 2. the 3rd book came out last year.

Great news. I'm a big fan of Murakami living in Greece and always looking forward for his new novel (of course no time to wait for the Greek translation)...

This book is awesome!! It took quite a time to read it! but it is worth it!
anyway, congratulation!! americans!

The appearance of new work by Haruki Murakami in translation is always cause for pleasant anticipation. With the passing of Jose Saramago, he and Ngugi wa Thiong'o are the writers whose work I most avidly await, no matter the form (fiction, nonfiction, short or novel-length). I wonder if either is on the LA Festival of Books schedule; it's probably time for that to be set...


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