Haruki Murakami’s radio show debut delights fans


TOKYO: Bestselling author Haruki Murakami, who rarely makes public appearances, delighted fans on Sunday as he made his radio debut with a one-off music show.

Many fans expressed excitement on social media as they heard the show by the 69-year-old Japanese novelist, perennially touted as a contender for the Nobel literature prize.

“It’s the first time I listened to his voice. I’m surprised that his way of talking and his voice are young!!” said one Twitter user.

“Appreciate I can listen to his voice!! So excited I have tears!!,” tweeted another.

The reclusive writer, an avid music fan, introduced songs by US and British musicians.

Murakami became a global sensation with the publication of Norwegian Wood in 1987 and has written several other bestsellers including 1Q84 and Kafka on the Shore.

In 2007, he published a non-fiction work, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. He has said he uses several iPods to listen to music while running.

Music, he told the radio show, had helped him to write.

“I didn’t learn writing techniques from someone’s literature. I learnt about rhythms, harmony and improvisations from music,” he said.

Even so, he said, he “prefers to die quietly” — when the co-host of the show relayed a listener’s question about what music he wants at his funeral.

The writer, who spends much of his time in the United States, has a cult following for his sometimes surreal works peppered with references to pop culture, which have been translated into some 40 languages.