It has been confirmed that Haruki Murakami (author of, among others, The Wind Up Bird Chronicle and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman) has indeed come to Hawai`i to write.

He will spend a year here presumably working on new prose, keeping a low profile and an office at the University of Hawai`i. He has agreed to give Honolulu a treat and read from his work Thursday April 26 at the Campus Center Ballroom. I must admit I can’t wait. I’ve previously reviewed After the Quake (Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer) Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Honolulu Advertiser), and my review of his latest novel, After Dark, is forthcoming in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Honolulu Advertiser.

Lesa Griffith at the Honolulu Advertiser interviewed him briefly via email about his thoughts on writing:

Two questions for Haruki Murakami
By Lesa Griffith

Writer Haruki Murakami, who is keeping a low profile while he is in town to write, will give a reading as part of the Literary Festival. The author of a dreamy, metaphysical brand of Japanese magic realism answered two questions by e-mail.

Q. What do you think of the state of reading today?

A. I don’t think the number of readers who enjoy reading good books has changed much. The number is quite limited but pretty stable, I believe. In any age, in any country, people who love to read, read. People have been reading books for more than 1,000 years. They would not stop reading easily.

The competition is tough these days. That is true. This is not the 19th century. But if you are any good as a writer, your book would find good readers (more or less). I am optimistic.

Q. Do you think the Islands are a good place to write?

A. I wrote half of “Kafka on the Shore” on Kaua’i. I would appreciate a lot of rain while I work (if it’s sunny, I go to the beach). In that sense, north shore of Kaua’i was a perfect place for writing.

Photo copyrighted, accessed through the Honolulu Advertiser