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

January 31, 2011 |  6:00 am

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