★ Mainichi Publishing Culture Prize 2009
Shinchosha Publishing Co (2009, 944 pages)
US & Canada Knopf (Ed. Sonny Mehta)
UK & Comm Random House (Ed. Liz Foley )
1Q84 was published as one volume by Knopf in the US on October 25, 2011. Random House in the UK released Books 1 and 2 on October 18, 2011 and Book 3 on October 25, 2011.
1Q84, Haruki Murakami's latest novel, was published by Shinchosa in Japan in May 2009 where it immediately entered the top of the best-seller charts. Shinchosa have reprinted thirty-nine times and now have four million copies in print.
1Q84 has now been sold in over thirty territories, many of which have already published their translations. In France for example, the first two books were released on 25 August 2011 and they immediately entered the bestseller list. The French publisher, Belfond, initially printed 70,000 copies of book 1 but had to reprint 55,000 copies within a week. 1Q84 is also up for the France-Culture-Télérama prize in France.
The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.
A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.
As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.
A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s—1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.
"Orwellian dystopia, sci-fi, the modern world (terrorism, drugs, apathy, pop novels)—all blend in this dreamlike, strange and wholly unforgettable epic." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)