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New Haruki Murakami novel to be released in U.S. on Aug. 12

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Haruki Murakami’s next novel will be published in the United States on Aug. 12, A.A. Knopf announced Tuesday.

“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage,” sold more than 1 million copies the first week of its release in Japan last April, and translations have topped bestseller lists in Germany, Spain and Holland.

According to the Bookseller, the novel tells the story of Tsukuru Tazaki, “whose life changed when his relationships with his high school friends were severed.” As a 36-year-old adult, Tsukuru decides “to reconnect with all of those friends to discover the reason behind their decision to reject him.” His four best friends are known as Mr. Red, Mr. Blue, Miss White and Miss Black; but Tsukuru is “colorless” because, among his closest friends, he is the only one without a kanji symbol for color in his name. the Guardian said.

In an interview with the Australian last year, translator J. Philip Gabriel said Murakami’s new book would be “more tightly focused” than previous novels and was also a more “somber” work.

Murakami, the author of “Kafka on the Shore,” “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle,” “IQ84,” and many other novels, was born in Kyoto in 1949. He’s won several literary honors, including Prague's Franz Kafka Prize, the Jerusalem Prize, Spain's Catalunya Prize and Japan's Tanizaki Prize. He is also a perennial favorite to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The novel will be published simultaneously in Britain by Harvill Secker. Knopf announced an initial print run of 250,000 copies.

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hector.tobar@latimes.com

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