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harkuki murakami - south of the border west of the sun

1Q84 (単行本)


First published in Japan by Shinchosha (2010)

The first two volumes translated by Jay Rubin and the third by Philip Gabriel

UK edition published 2011 by Harvill Secker (in two volumes):
Hardcover: 624 pages (Books 1&2)
ISBN-10: 1846554071

Hardcover: 368 pages (Book 3)
ISBN-10: 1846554055

US edition published 2011 by Knopf (in one volume) :
Hardcover: 944 pages
ISBN-10: 0307593312

In a sense, I'm the one who ruined me: I did it myself

“1Q84” -- the letter Q and the number 9 have the same pronunciation in Japanese -- is Murakami’s first novel in more than four years. It opens with a woman named Aomame, which means “blue bean,” listening to Czech composer Leos Janacek’s “Sinfonietta” in a Toyota Crown Royal Saloon cab. The chapters alternate between Aomame and a male character named Tengo.

1Q84 is described as a "complex and surreal narrative" which "shifts back and forth between tales of two characters, a man and a woman, who are searching for each other." The themes consist of murder, history, cult religion, violence, family ties and love.


The year is 1984. Aomame is riding in a taxi on the expressway, in a hurry to carry out an assignment. Her work is not the kind that can be discussed in public. When they get tied up in traffic, the taxi driver suggests a bizarre 'proposal' to her. Having no other choice she agrees, but as a result of her actions she starts to feel as though she is gradually becoming detached from the real world. She has been on a top secret mission, and her next job leads her to encounter the superhuman founder of a religious cult. Meanwhile, Tengo is leading a nondescript life but wishes to become a writer. He inadvertently becomes involved in a strange disturbance that develops over a literary prize.

A seventeen-year-old girl possessed of a mysterious beauty has just entered her first work of fiction to this competition but can't really be called a writer. Her story seems to be based on her own experiences, but it deviates greatly from what is expected of fiction and moves people in mysterious ways. Is her story really true? While Aomame and Tengo impact on each other in various ways, at times by accident and at times intentionally, they come closer and closer to meeting. Eventually the two of them notice that they are indispensable to each other. Is it possible for them to ever meet in the real world?

HM - 1q84 - Binding cover for 1Q84 underneath vellum jacket HM - 1Q84 - Composite of vellum jacket over binding cover on finished book HM - 1Q84 - Outer vellum jacket for 1Q84

1Q84 "trailer" from Knopf

The Book Bench: This Week in Fiction: Haruki Murakami - Murakami chats with the New Yorker Magazine's fiction editor

New Murakami interview - Aum trials a starting point for 1Q84. From The Yomiuri Shimbun via Asia Daily News Online.

In the second part to Murakami's new interview - Sex, violence 'doors into the human soul' - with The Yomiuri Shimbun, he talks about 1Q84 and how society has changed since he was first published in 1979

“Town of Cats”, an excerpt from 1Q84' has been publised by the New Yorker

Haruki Murakami's translator on what makes the pop-smash writer tick - Professor Jay Rubin tells us about his work on the upcoming English release of ‘1Q84’ and his original disinterest in Murakami

An interview with Jay Rubin from Harvard's The Crimson

Publishing Weekly - Six Questions for Jay Rubin, Haruki Murakami's Translator, By Parul Sehgal

The Atlantic - How Haruki Murakami's '1Q84' Was Translated Into English (Philip Gabriel)

University of Arizona - UA Professor Helps Translate Eagerly Anticipated Novel (Philip Gabriel)

Tokyo Prose - Paul Theroux and Gasper Tringale spotlight Haruki Murakami, whose novel 1Q84 is epic in every way.

Chip Kidd Discusses the Book Jacket for 1Q84

What is the parallel world in Murakami's new novel '1Q84' - The Mainichi Daily News answers common questions readers may have about the parallel world discussed in Haruki Murakami's new novel "1Q84."

Loss and Recovery 1q84 and Murakami's Sunken Continent - Daniel MORALES has just published on Neojaponisme an essential article/review on 1Q84

shinchosha's official 1Q84 site



NY Times Sunday Book Review
NY Times Blog
The Daily Beast blog
San Fancisco Chronicle
The Guardian
The Guardian (Comment is free)
IQ84: A Murakami Novel Sans Murakami by Bryan Walsh (Time Magazine)
Altered Realities, Rearranged Lives by Charles R Larson (Counterpunch)
Knopf's High-End Print Package for '1Q84' Pays Off by Rachel Deahl (Publishers Weekly)
Daniel Morales 1Q84 Live Blog
'1Q84': What I write about when I write about writing by Steve Finbow (Japan Times)
Behind Murakami’s Mirror by Charles Baxter (NYRB)
Haruki Murakami- The secret to his success. Hint: It’s not great writing. by Nathan Heller (Slate)
1Q84: a brilliant and infuriating narrative by Luke Kennard (The National)
Financial Times
Daily Telegraph
Wall Street Journal
LA Times
The National Post (Canada)
The Age (Australia)
NYT - A Tokyo With Two Moons and Many More Puzzles By Janet Maslin
Slate - An Unearthly Love Story By Terrence Rafferty
The Millions - Reading 1Q84: The Case for Fiction in a Busy Life By Kevin Hartnet
The Millions
The Globe and Mail
Kansas City Star
Herald Sun (Australia)
The Mercury News
The Independent
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
St Louis Today
Scott Esposito take on the new novel in Conversational Reading