Media Center: New Murakami Novel To Be Published By Knopf

Media Center: New Murakami Novel To Be Published By Knopf



THE STRANGE LIBRARY, an illustrated story by the internationally acclaimed writer Haruki Murakami, will be published by Knopf on December 2nd, it was announced today by Sonny Mehta, Chairman and Editor in Chief. It will be the author’s second work of fiction to be released this season, following COLORLESS TSUKURU TAZAKI AND HIS YEARS OF PILGRIMAGE, which was published in August and debuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list on August 31st.

“Murakami continues to dazzle readers with fantastical feats of storytelling,” said Mehta, “And THE STRANGE LIBRARY is no exception. Indeed, this short work is as scary and surprising as anything he has ever written.”

“All I did was go to the library to borrow some books.” On his way home from school, the young narrator of THE STRANGE LIBRARY finds himself wondering how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. He pops into the local library to see if it has a book on the subject. Once there, he is led to a special ‘reading room’ by a strange old man. The boy is imprisoned at the library and forced to memorize massive volumes of books. What will the boy do when he realizes that his captor intends to absorb his knowledge by eating his brain? With the help of a mysterious girl and a man dressed as a sheep, he hatches a plan to escape.

In keeping with its fantastical storyline, the 96-page book will be inventively packaged in a top-to-bottom wrap-around jacket and illustrated throughout with full-color art. The book has been designed by Chip Kidd, Knopf’s associate art director.

“Designing this book was different,” Kidd said, “because the story is so unlike anything Murakami has ever written. To recreate the concept of a boy trapped in a library, the book is contained in a paper vessel that literally confines the reader within the story, with a menacing green-eyed dog leering over every page. Rather than borrow from the visual tropes of an actual library (catalog cards, Dewey decimal codes, etc.) I wanted to suggest the idea of ephemera the boy might discover while held captive there. To generate the imagery, I borrowed from my own library of vintage Japanese graphics. Some of the original sources might surprise readers, but it’s best that they remain a mystery—to be marveled at, puzzled over, and treasured.”

THE STRANGE LIBRARY was translated from the Japanese by Ted Goossen. The announced first printing is 75,000 copies.

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THE STRANGE LIBRARY by Haruki Murakami.
Translated from the Japanese by Ted Goossen.
Announced first printing 75,000 copies.
Knopf. 96 pages. $18 ISBN 978-0-385-35430-1
On sale 12/2/14

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