Reclusive Author Is World's Newest Advice Columnist

Japan's famously shy Haruki Murakami to offer tips on anything readers want to ask
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2015 1:38 PM CST
Reclusive Author Is World's Newest Advice Columnist
In this Feb. 15, 2009, file photo, novelist Haruki Murakami of Japan reacts before receiving the Jerusalem Prize during the International Book Fair in Jerusalem.   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

(Newser) – Who better to offer advice to the lovelorn, the beleaguered, and the downtrodden than a hermit-like Japanese novelist? That's the plan for Haruki Murakami, known recluse and one of Japan's most famous writers, his publisher said today, per the Guardian. According to Shinchosha Publishing, the 65-year-old surrealist author will serve as what the Brits call an "agony uncle" on a page called "Murakami's Place" on its website, dispensing wisdom in response to questions submitted by readers from Jan. 15 through Jan. 31, Reuters reports. He'll tackle "questions of any kind," a company rep says per the Guardian. "After so long, I want to exchange emails with readers," Murakami is quoted as saying by Shinchosha, with the rep adding to Reuters that "he likes to engage with readers, but there's so much interest it's hard for him to interact well. This should be smoother."

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Marukami once referred to himself as "an endangered species [that] may get intimidated and bite" if people got too close to him, the New Statesman reported in 2013. No one's sure where the self-banished Murakami—often brought up as a possible Nobel Prize candidate—lives, though the Guardian notes he "spends much of his time" in the US; the New Statesman claims he resides in both Japan and Hawaii. Some of the Qs he may receive will likely touch on some of his favorite topics, including cats and the Yakult Swallows, a pro Japanese baseball team. Or they may be more fitting for a writer known for what the Guardian calls "intricately-crafted tales of the absurdity and loneliness of modern life": "We expect there to be some rather strange questions," the rep says, per Reuters. "Which ones he answers depends on him." (Hopefully it will turn out better than this lad-mag column.)

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