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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 22, 2007

Two questions for Haruki Murakami

By Lesa Griffith
Advertiser Staff Writer

Haruki Murakami

Advertiser library photo

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7:30 p.m. Thursday

University of Hawai'i-Manoa, Campus Center Ballroom


For a complete schedule, see www.hawaii.edu/hwp

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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.

Reach Lesa Griffith at lgriffith@honoluluadvertiser.com.