Haruki Murakami at the New York Times:
What books would you recommend to somebody who wants to understand present-day Japan?
The same trend is found almost everywhere, I think, but in Japan, too, women writers — especially those of the younger generation — are quite active in publishing novels and are gaining a large, receptive readership. Personally, I like Mieko Kawakami’s novel “Natsu Monogatari” (“Summer Tales”). She has such sensitivity as a writer and is a deeply committed storyteller. This novel was translated and published in English in 2020 under the title “Breasts and Eggs.”
What do you read when you’re working on a book? And what kind of reading do you avoid while writing?
It’s an interesting question, but I’ve never really thought about it. Writing a lengthy novel is a job that takes time and patience over the long haul, and it’d be kind of disruptive if I had to give up reading the books I want to read while I’m writing.