New Haruki Murakami Short Story 'Kino' Available Online to Read Right This Second
If you're a big fan of Haruki Murakami, you're going to want to open up a new browser tab right now. The New Yorker published online a new Murakami short story 'Kino,' which until now was only available in Japanese. (Those lucky Japanese speakers!) 'Kino' is one of six new Murakami short stories from his collection Men Without Women, published in his native Japan but not available in the United States. And, according to Open Culture, the trend shows that the collection probably will never be published here.
Two of Murakami's other short stories from Men Without Women (which, by the way, is a loose translation of the collection's Japanese title Onna no Inai Otokotachi), "Scheherazade" and "Yesterday" are already available online via The New Yorker, so if you haven't already, I insist you read them. Murakami is a critically acclaimed contemporary author whose work has been translated into more than 50 (!!) languages worldwide. He is probably best known (in the United States, at least) for his wildly popular 2011 novel 1Q84, which is set in Tokyo and references one of his inspirations, George Orwell's 1984. In fact, he recently spoke out saying that his work is criticized in his home country as being un-Japanese because of his strong influences from Western writers, such as Orwell, Kurt Vonnegut, and Raymond Chandler.
Check out the first paragraph of his new short story 'Kino':
The man always sat in the same seat, the stool farthest down the counter. When it wasn’t occupied, that is, but it was nearly always free. The bar was seldom crowded, and that particular seat was the most inconspicuous and the least comfortable. A staircase in the back made the ceiling slanted and low, so it was hard to stand up there without bumping your head. The man was tall, yet, for some reason, preferred that cramped, narrow spot.
And based on Murakami's famous Kafkaesque style, full of magical realism, you know it's only going to get stranger from there. So what are you doing still here? Go, go read it now!