> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 1 June 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099526155
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $26.99

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running




The first, fascinating insight into the life of this internationally bestselling writer

In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he'd completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and on his writing.

Equal parts travelogue, training log, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and settings ranging from Tokyo's Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston.

By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, this is a must-read for fans of this masterful yet private writer as well as for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in distance running.

  • Pub date: 1 June 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099526155
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $26.99

About the Author

Haruki Murakami

In 1978, Haruki Murakami was 29 and running a jazz bar in downtown Tokyo. One April day, the impulse to write a novel came to him suddenly while watching a baseball game. That first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won a new writers’ award and was published the following year. More followed, including A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but it was Norwegian Wood, published in 1987, which turned Murakami from a writer into a phenomenon. His books became bestsellers, were translated into many languages, including English, and the door was thrown wide open to Murakami’s unique and addictive fictional universe.

Murakami writes with admirable discipline, producing ten pages a day, after which he runs ten kilometres (he began long-distance running in 1982 and has participated in numerous marathons and races), works on translations, and then reads, listens to records and cooks. His passions colour his non-fiction output, from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running to Absolutely On Music, and they also seep into his novels and short stories, providing quotidian moments in his otherwise freewheeling flights of imaginative inquiry. In works such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84 and Men Without Women, his distinctive blend of the mysterious and the everyday, of melancholy and humour, continues to enchant readers, ensuring Murakami’s place as one of the world’s most acclaimed and well-loved writers.

Also by Haruki Murakami

See all

Praise for What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

“Comical, charming and philosophical...an excellent memoir”

GQ

“Murakami manages to set a course that takes in views of all literature, sport and the uphill journey of ageing, all with a modest fluency that covers the ground without raising a sweat”

Independent

“There can never have been a book quite like this memoir of running and writing, taken together, before. In its self-contained way, it's nothing less than an inspiration”

Evening Standard

“Thre's a wandering, digressive, free-form quality to the writing - like improvised jazz - familiar to anyone who has read the novels, with their labyrinth plots, perplexed, solitary male protagonists, meaningful coincidences and dream-like sequences. The narrative voice here is as persuasive as in any of the novels, candid and jaunty, and you finish the book charmed by the simple, unaffected grace of Murakami”

Observer

“Builds up a steady pace and creates a hypnotic rhythm...Even those who can't be bothered to run for the bus will be moved by the way he describes running as providing a precious time free of quotidian worries”

Metro

“An inspiration...Murakami describes the feeling of pushing one's body to the limit better than anyone”

Scotsman

“The biggest hitter of the year”

Observer Sport Monthly

“A short, thoughtful book worth several shelves of self-help titles”

Scotland on Sunday

“The closest thing to a memoir that Haruki Murakami will ever write”

Sunday Herald

“A gentle, meditative memoir”

Grazia

“This is my most recent inspirational find...Murakami makes me want to write hard and run far and fast”

Easy Living


Related titles