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Haruki Murakami novel is Japan's 2013 best-seller

Updated December 03, 2013

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Haruki Murakami. — File photo
Haruki Murakami. — File photo

TOKYO: The new novel by literary superstar Haruki Murakami was Japan's biggest-selling book of 2013, the nation's largest distributor said.

The novel, about a man struggling to come to terms with events in his past, beat off competition from the flood of self-help books and how-to manuals published in Japan every year to come top of the list released Monday by Nippon Shuppan Hanbai.

Murakami's “Shikisai wo Motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to Kare no Junrei no Toshi (Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)” was released in Japanese in April.

The best-seller list covers the 12-month period to November 30. The distributor does not disclose the number of copies it sold but Bungei Shunju, the publisher of the Murakami book, says it has printed 1.05 million copies.

Second place in the list went to a book by a cancer specialist cautioning against sufferers having surgery too early.

Murakami, who has a large and loyal following worldwide, is regularly mentioned as a potential winner of the Nobel literature prize, but was passed over again this year in favour of Canadian Alice Munro.

His works are sprinkled with pop culture references and characterised by lyrical prose that deals — sometimes surreally with his characters' struggles on the margins of Japanese society.

An English translation of his latest novel is expected some time next year.