What I Talk about When I Talk about Running

Front Cover
Random House of Canada, Limited, Aug 11, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 192 pages
54 Reviews
From the best-selling author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and After Dark, a rich and revelatory memoir about writing and running, and the integral impact both have made on his life.

In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Haruki 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, not to mention triathlons and a slew of critically acclaimed books, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and–even more important–on his writing.

Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and includes settings ranging from Tokyo’s Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston among young women who outpace him. Through this marvellous lens of sport emerges a cornucopia of memories and insights: the eureka moment when
he decided to become a writer, his greatest triumphs and disappointments, his passion for vintage LPs, and the experience, after the age of fifty, of seeing his race times improve and then fall back.

By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is both for fans of this masterful yet guardedly private writer and for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in distance running.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - azolibrary - LibraryThing

Murakami is honestly delightful about the reality of running, writing and getting older. Two out of the three he wanted to do and the other just happened. All three are challenges he faces with wit, grit determination and raw honesty. I read it and went for a run. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ChristineEllei - LibraryThing

I am not a runner and I often wonder why people choose to put their bodies through grueling marathons. This book explains that very question in a charming and simple way. It was a joy to read, and ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. His work has been translated into forty-two languages. The most recent of his many honours is the Franz Kafka Prize.


From the Hardcover edition.

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