Arts, Culture & Media

Haruki Murakami

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Murakami novels "Norwegian Wood" and "The Windup Bird Chronicles" have sold millions of copies, and they're translated into nearly 40 languages. Here in the U.S., Murakami's rare public appearances are greeted with great excitement and reverence.

"The World's" Patrick Cox reports on the people who read and follow Murakami.

This month, Murakami visited the U.S. -- he spoke in front of two audiences in New York and Berkeley, California -- his only public appearances here this year; no cameras, no tape reporters, just a whole load of devotees.

The Berkeley appearance is sold out -- 2,000 people are in attendance, people who feel deeply affected by Murakami's story of vanishing women, confused men, and talking frogs.

Some people are so spellbound by his writing that they try, and fail, to track him down in Japan.

Murakami writes about loneliness -- a lot. His own literary heroes are Kafka and Dostoevsky, but his lonely world is warmer. He often shows affection for this protagonists -- less Kafka than J.D. Salinger.

PRI's "The World" is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. "The World" is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston.

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Tagged: New YorkJapanUnited StatesCaliforniabooks.