Who am I? What is life? Author Haruki Murakami to the rescue

Tue Jan 6, 2015 3:30am EST
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By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters) - Worried about your future, the meaning of life or the realness of unreal things? Ask Japanese author Haruki Murakami for enlightenment - or as much as a surrealist can give.

Though a perennial favorite for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Murakami is so notoriously reclusive that nobody knows for sure where in the world he lives, and he has joked about biting fans who get too close.

But for a short period this spring, the global bestselling author, 65, will take any and all questions posed to him by readers, answering those that pique his interest, his publisher Shinchosha said on Tuesday.

"He likes to engage with readers, but there's so much interest it's hard for him to interact well. This should be smoother," a company spokeswoman added.

The company will take questions from Jan 15 to 31, and Murakami's responses will run until the end of March on a special page called "Murakami's Place" on the company's website.

Born in Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto to schoolteachers, Murakami's often surreal books have been translated into more than 50 languages and feature characters bonding through pain. He has lived in self-imposed exile for years and is often a harsh critic of his home country.

His most recent novel, "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage", was an instant bestseller that had Japanese fans queueing to buy it at a midnight release in 2013.

Murakami is known to be a passionate runner, fan of cats and devout supporter of Tokyo's Yakult Swallows, a perennially cellar-dwelling baseball team, and questions are likely to touch on these topics as well as literature, the spokeswoman said.   Continued...

Japanese writer Haruki Murakami receives the "XXIII Premi Internacional Catalunya" prize from Catalunya's Regional President Artur Mas during an awards ceremony in Barcelona, June 9, 2011. REUTERS/Generalitat de Catalunya/Handout