Nobel literature crown again eludes Japan's hope, Haruki Murakami

Thu Oct 8, 2015 9:06am EDT
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By Megumi Lim

TOKYO (Reuters) - It's a plot that could almost have come from Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, the wildly popular author known for writing about disillusionment, who has been a top pick for the Nobel Literature prize for nearly a decade - in vain.

To the bitter disappointment of fans gathered around Tokyo, the jinx persisted yet again on Thursday, despite Murakami being ranked number two on British betting site Ladbroke's.

The prize went to Belarusian Svetlana Alexievich.

"This is really too bad, I thought he'd get it this year," said one man in his 30s, gathered with a group of about 40 at a shrine in a Tokyo neighborhood frequented by Murakami in his youth.

"When I heard the news, tears just came welling up."

In a blog post this year, the reclusive Murakami, 66, who has lived much of his life in self-imposed exile away from Japan, himself described his perennial also-ran status as being "a bit of a nuisance".

His career runs from the 1979 novel, "Hear The Wind Sing", to "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage", an instant bestseller that had fans queuing at midnight when it came out. He has also written non-fiction, including a book about running, one of his passions.

With his work translated into at least 50 languages, he is one of the best-known living Japanese novelists worldwide.   Continued...

Novelist Haruki Murakami of Japan attends a news conference in Prague October 30, 2006.  REUTERS/Petr Josek