'1Q84' author Haruki Murakami makes his first public appearance in Japan in 18 years

Murakami appeared at Kyoto University to discuss his new novel 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.'

Elena Seibert/Knopf
Haruki Murakami's newest novel, 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage,' does not yet have a US release date.

Japanese writing star Haruki Murakami spoke about his new novel at Kyoto University in what was his first public appearance in Japan in 18 years.

Murakami’s book, “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage,” became an immediate bestseller in Japan after its April release, but there are as yet no plans to print the book in English.

Those who wished to attend Murakami’s engagement entered a lottery and 500 were eventually selected. During the event, the author said that he decided to appear in honor of psychologist Hayao Kawai, a friend of his who died in 2007.

At the university, Murakami discussed the themes of his new novel, which focuses on an engineer who travels to Finland and Japan to meet with friends with whom he had severed ties years earlier.

“People get hurt and close their minds, but as time passes, they gradually open up, and they grow as they repeat that,” the author said, according to Reuters. “This novel is about growth.”

Murakami’s last public appearance came after the 1995 Kobe earthquake, when he read his work in an attempt to raise money for those affected.

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