Novelist As a Vocation by Haruki Murakami review – the secrets behind the literary phenomenon
The celebrated novelist offers insights into his ways of working, his direct style and the moments that shaped him in this intriguing book on writing On an April afternoon in 1978, Haruki Murakami was sitting in the stands of Jingu Stadium in Tokyo watching a baseball game when he underwent a life-changing epiphany. It happened just as a player for his local team struck a ball into left field, to the delight of the home crowd. “In that instant,” he writes, “and based on no grounds whatsoever, it suddenly struck me: I think I can write a novel.” Within six months, Murakami had written his first book, a short novel called Hear the Wind Sing. He sent the only manuscript copy to Gunzo, a Japanese literary journal, and promptly forgot about it. On receiving the news that he had been shortlisted for Gunzo’s prestigious Prize for New Writers, he went for a walk with his wife and experienced another unlikely epiphany. It happened just after he had rescued an injured pigeon he had found on a back street and was cradling the frightened bird in his arms. “That’s when it hit me,” he recalls in Novelist As a Vocation, a collection of essays on writing, inspiration and creativity, “I was going to win the prize. And I was going to go on to become a novelist who would enjoy some degree of success.” Novelist As a Vocation by Haruki Murakami is published by Harvill Secker (£18.99). To support the Guardian and Observer order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply Continue reading...
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