Novelist As a Vocation

English language

Published Feb. 5, 2022 by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

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4 stars (7 reviews)

A unique look at the craft of writing from a bestelling master of storytelling.

In this engaging book, the internationally best-selling author shares with readers what he thinks about being a novelist; his thoughts on the role of the novel in our society; his own origins as a writer; and his musings on the sparks of creativity that inspire other writers, artists, and musicians.

Readers who have long wondered where the mysterious novelist gets his ideas and what inspires his strangely surreal worlds will be fascinated by this highly personal look at the craft of writing.

6 editions

Interesting insights

3 stars

Novelist As A Vocation is an overlapping series of eleven essays, originally written by Murakami just as an exercise for himself, but which have now been overhauled and published in this collection. I suppose I should admit here than, when offered the book, I didn't think I had actually read anything else by Murakami. As it turned out I was reminded that I had read his running memoir several years ago (before I started reviewing everything I read), but I am yet to pick up a Murakami novel. That said, I am fascinated by the myriad ways in which writers ply their craft so I was still curious about Murakami's insights.

As he repeatedly tells readers, he has been a novelist for thirty-five years (at the time of the Japanese publication), yet his experience seemed somewhat atypical from what I had expected. He has interesting ideas about the characters and …

Practical, fascinating

5 stars

I'm always fascinated to learn about successful artists' and writers' journeys and creative processes. I've admired Haruki Murakami for a while, so this book was extra fun to read. His fiction is known for using simple sentence structures, and the essays in this book about his career as a novelist follow this way of writing. He offers his own experience, all the while sharing his history (a treat, as he's notoriously shy of the public) and underlining that his story is his own - and may or may not apply to others. The few times he does dip into 'universal' language are, I think, the most inspirational parts of the book - the feeling of being in flow or 'in the zone'; overcoming obstacles, including one's own self-doubt; and the joy of producing some work that reflects you as an artist, regardless of what critics or others have to say. …

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