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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Shikisai o Motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to, Kare no Junrei no Toshi?

First published in Japan by Bungeishunju (April 2013)

Translated by by Philip Gabriel.

UK Edition:
Hardcover 304 pages
Publisher: The Harvill Press (August 12th, 2014)
ISBN: 978-1846558337

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Vintage (1st May 2015)
ISBN: 9780099590378


US Edition:
Hardcover: 400 pages,
Publisher: Knopf (August 12th, 2014)
ISBN: 978-0385352109

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Vintage International  (5th May 2015)
ISBN: 978-0804170123

"I’ve always seen myself as an empty person, lacking color and identity. Maybe that was my role in the group. To be empty."

Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage marks a new direction in Murakami’s fiction: a return to the lyrical realism not seen since his 1987 novel Norwegian Wood, but set against the social realities of contemporary Japan.

Narrated in the third person, the novel centers on a devastating emotional betrayal and its consequences. Tsukuru Tazaki belongs to a tight-knit group of five friends in high school—three boys and two girls who form a perfect circle they imagine will stay together forever. But when Tsukuru returns home from college in Tokyo, he finds himself inexplicably rebuffed by the group. Something has changed, but nobody, not even his closest friends, will tell him what.

Years later, Tsukuru, now a successful engineer, begins dating an older woman named Sara and confesses to her the shadow this betrayal has cast over his life. Sara urges Tsukuru to tryto find his old group and to try to solve the mystery that has haunted him all these years: why did they suddenly turn on him?

On a quest to discover the truth, Tsukuru travels back to meet his old friends—with the exception of Shiro, the group’s most volatile and psychologically unstable member, who he learns was strangled to death in an unsolved murder six years ago. As the dark truth about Shiro reveals itself, Tsukuru must confront the simmering emotional undercurrents that the group had suppressed in order to reach their ideal of perfect friendship.

Can love overcome isolation? Is it possible to truly reach another person? Can buried emotions ever really stay buried? And will confronting the past allow Tsukuru to finally open himself up to the future?

Haida’s Story - A folktale from Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is available on The Slate.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami – digested read (SPOILER ALERT!) by John Crace - The Guardian


Colorless Tazaki Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage Reviews

Philip Gabriel on translating Haruki Murakami - Ipshita Mitra, The Times of India, 10th June 2014

Wonderfull blog for Murakami translators to share ideas and discuss solutions to problems encountered in the process of translating his works. Lots of coverage of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, and a great sorce of covers.

Why Haruki Murakami Inspires Midnight Madness - The Artery - WBUR by Ed Siegel

Vintage Books released a trailer on youtube for the English language translation of Colorless Tazaki Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage

Designing and Producing Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - Vintage Books Youtube video

Second Knopfdoubleday trailer for Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki

Strange Library and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - New York Times audio book review by Daniel Handler

Haruki Murakami and the marketing madness of publishers - Murakami's new book will come with a free sticker set so (adult) readers can decorate the novel. - The Guardian, 19th June 2014

The Vintage book design page which explains more about the idea behind the English cover and the stickers.

Haruki Murakami will be signing his eagerly anticipated new book Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage at Waterstones Piccadilly, London on Saturday 30th August at 11am.

The Japan Foundation seminar - On 26 August 2014 The Japan Foundation, London is presenting a special seminar - Dr Gitte Marianne Hansen (Newcastle University) will explore some of the connections and meanings between colours and characters throughout the work of Haruki Murakami.

She will begin by analysing Murakami's latest novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, before looking at earlier characters from well-known longer novels such as Norwegian Wood and 1Q84 as well as from short stories such as The Little Green Monster.

The Bookseller (UK) reports on midnight opening events for the publication of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. Foyles bookshop in London will host a midnight opening party selling exclusive black cover limited edition copies the novel.


Can Haruki Murakami Learn New Tricks? Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki Is an Emotional Milestone - The stranger (Seattle) review by Paul Constant

Missing — And Finding — The Magic Of Haruki Murakami - BuzzFeed by Alanna Okun

Bad Lands - Like Its Hero, Haruki Murakami's New Novel Is Mired In Colorless Ambiguity -

Murakami and me: The wait for Haruki Murakami's UK 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki' tour - The Independent by Siobhan Norton

Strange, stark and sentimental: Haruki Murakami’s winning fictional formula - New Statesmen review by Randy Boyagoda

Haruki Murakami Paints A 'Colorless' Character In A Vividly Imagined World - NPR review by Meg Wolitzer

The Mystery of Murakami - The Atlantic article by Nathaniel Rich

Haruki Murakami delivers his most human novel yet - AV Club review by Noah Cruickshank

Through colourful doors of perception - The Age (Melbourne) review by Nicholas Jose

Haruki Murakami’s new novel journeys to the past - Assocoaited Press article by Hillel Italie

Boston Globe review by John Freeman

Haruki Murakami conducts a quest into the past as his hero tries to understand a long-ago rejection - South China Morning Post review by James Kidd

A Pilgrim’s Progress, or Lack Thereof - New York Times review by Janet Maslin

Haruki Murakami’s new book peels back the layers of friendship - The Japan Times review by Daniel Morales

Deep Chords: Haruki Murakami’s ‘Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage’ - New York Times review by Patti Smith

Haruki Murakami's familiar tale of a man's odd past and his empty present - Guardian review by Sean O'Hagan

Full of ambiguity and sex – all Murakami's signature flourishes are here - Another Guardian review by Mark Lawson

Murakami’s understated triumph: What Japan’s most celebrated writer knows that American novelists don’t - Salon review by Laura Miller

Aloof, Quiet, and Dissonant: On Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - The Millions review by By Woody Brown

Washington Post review by Marie Arana

Haruki Murakami’s pilgrimage infused with the spirit of wabi-sabi - The Australian review by Ed Wright

'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - San Francisco Chronicle review by Christopher Weinberger

Chicago Tribune review

Norihiro Kato: 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki' is an imperfect work but one of Haruki Murakami's most important, The Asahi Shimbun, 16th March 2014

‘Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki’: Haruki Murakami’s New Novel of Memory and Mystery - Newsweek review by Alexander Nazaryan

In his new novel, Haruki Murakami steps back into the remote, mysterious realm of his celebrated classic 'Norwegian Wood’ – and loses his way - Daily Telegraph review by Leo Robson

PECULIAR beauty, intense teen friendships and strange aphorisms are all there in Haruki Murakami's new fable-like novel - Daily Express review by Jake Kerridge

Haruki Murakami's 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki' strikes emotional chord - Tampabay Times review by Colette Bancroft

A teenage falling-out colours a young man’s future in this suspenseful new novel - Financial Times review by David Pilling

Murakami returns with a harmonious blend of naivety and riddling sophistication - Independent review by Boyd Tonkin

Neojaponisme review by Daniel Morales

In ‘Tsukuru Tazaki,’ Murakami once again shifts his point of view - The Japan Times by Daniel Morales review by Kathryn Hemmann