Haruki Murakami is one of the most distinguished novelists in the world. So what's he going to do for his next project? Write a Miss Lonelyhearts advice column that will run on his website for two months later this year.
The multiple-award-winning author is soliciting questions from his readers about love, life and literature. So people who want to know exactly what was going on in "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" or "1Q84" are in luck.
"He will receive questions of any kind," a spokesman for his Japanese publisher Shinchosha told the Guardian.
The 65-year-old writer will even answer questions about himself.
It's a rare opportunity for Murakami fans to engage with the author, who is so popular in Japan that his books regularly sell out within days of going on sale. He makes an effort to stay out of the public eye, as he explained in a 2013 address to university students in Kyoto.
"I do not usually appear in public, but this is a special occasion .... You may ask why I do not go out in public. I am a person who lives an ordinary life. I take the subway and bus to move around, and I shop at stores in my neighborhood. It would be troublesome if I was often approached on the street as a result of appearing on TV," Murakami said.
"Years ago, I went to renew my driver's license. A staff member at the counter repeatedly called, 'Haruki Murakami.' When I went to the counter, the person asked me, 'You have the same name as that famous novelist, don't you?' I answered 'yes.' I am like an endangered Iriomote wildcat. I beg you not to come close and touch me."
In addition to questions from the lovelorn, Murakami will doubtlessly be barraged by queries about his books and the things that appear in them: spaghetti, surrealism, jazz, Kafka, jogging, wells and cats.