On Haruki Murakami’s “Novelist as a Vocation”

Robert Allen Papinchak in the Los Angeles Review of Books:

THE 11 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ESSAYS (six old, five new) collected in Haruki Murakami’s splendid second memoir of sorts, Novelist as a Vocation, are not meant to comprise a general guidebook on how to write novels but, rather, a key that illuminates his individual process. It is neither a self-help book nor a manual on fiction writing. As he states in the foreword, it is a “comprehensive look (at the present time) of [his] views on writing novels.” The book, published in Japan in 2015 and now available in an English translation by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen, began as a series of “undelivered speeches” and became a record of his “thoughts and feelings.” Yet, despite significant changes in personal and societal circumstances (including the pandemic), his “fundamental stance and way of thinking have hardly changed at all.”

More here.