Amazon.com: Some questions raised in 1Q84 go unanswered by the end of the novel. In general, what do you feel is important to provide in terms of closure and what is less important?
Murakami: In this novel there is a “pre-story” and a “post-story.” These already were present in my head, to some extent. They’re vague, but they have mass. I might write these stories some time, or I might not write them. I think probably I won’t. Still, in any event, these pre- and post-stories slumber inside me. Also, you yourself have the right to create your own version of the “pre-story” and the “post-story.” That’s how I think.
A story is exactly the same as your or my life. There is a “pre-story” and a “post-story.” And even after you and I die, a number of deep mysteries remain.
Haruki Murakami’s venerated novel of love and mental illness, Norwegian Wood, has been pulled off a reading list for New Jersey teenagers after a rash of complaints from parents.
The novel, which has inspired obsessive devotion from its fans in Japan and around the world since it was first published in 1987, is set in 1960s Tokyo, and tells of 19-year-old Toru Watanabe’s relationships with two girls: troubled, vulnerable Naoko and impetuous Midori. The best known of Murakami’s novels, it has sold more than 10m copies in Japan and 2.6m in translation.
It was put on the required summer reading list for the 15- and 16-year-old pupils entering the 10th grade at Williamstown High School in New Jersey, with Nic Sheff’s memoir of addiction and recovery, Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamines, recommended for senior-year students, aged 17 to 18. After “multiple” complaints from parents to the school board, the books have now been removed from the lists.