Author Haruki Murakami has released a new short story in the New Yorker.
The work, titled “Scheherazade,” appears in the Oct. 13 issue and centers on a man who is unable to depart the house where he is living but is told stories by a woman who visits him. Whenever she tells him a new tale, she leaves off at a suspenseful part. You can read the full story here. (Note: the story includes adult content.) According to the New Yorker, the work appeared in a collection by Murakami that was published in Japan titled “Men Without Women.”
Murakami fans are in luck – in addition to this work, his novel “The Strange Library” will be released in English this December.
The author discussed “Scheherazade” with the New Yorker but noted that even he himself is not able to clear up some of the ambiguous parts of the story, including the reason the man in the narrative, Habara, can’t leave his house.
“Sorry, but I don’t know the exact circumstances that brought about the situation, either,” he told the New Yorker. “Of course, I have a few ideas about what might be the cause, but I expect my readers do as well. I’m not trying to make a big secret out of it – in fact, I think if you took their hypotheses and mine and stacked them on top of each other you’d have an important form of author-reader communication. Because what’s important isn’t what caused Habara’s situation but, rather, how we ourselves would act in similar circumstances.”
As to whether there will be a follow-up to “Scheherazade,” Murakami said, “I really have no idea. Each time I finish a short story, I think, Well, that one’s done. Then, a few years later, it hits me that I might, just maybe, be able to turn a particular story into something more…. ‘Scheherazade’ is promising material – I have to admit that.”
As noted by NPR, the story is being released as the announcement for this year's Nobel Prize for Literature nears. Murakami is considered a strong contender for the prize, which will be announced on Oct. 9.