[EVENT RECAP] Haruki Murakami’s Pilgrimage - Monkey Business Editors discuss the author’s new novel

To celebrate the August 12th launch of Haruki Murakami’s “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage”, Monkey Business editors, Roland Kelts, who knows Murakami personally and has interviewed him numerous times over the past 15 years, and Ted Goossen, one of Haruki Murakami’s translators, joined Eunbi Kim of Murakami Music for a discussion and Q&A about the author’s new novel and work at Kinokuniya in New York City.

For those of you who missed it, here’s a recap of the event, complete with photographs!

Event Recap (Summary and Photos Credit to Kinokuniya USA New York):

Roland discussed the new novel relating the pilgrimage of the main character Tsukuru Tazaki to a metaphorical pilgrimage which has been playing out in Murakami’s own life. But he cautioned that Murakami’s novels really are not autobiographical outside of some surface similarities. Roland also shared some great anecdotes and insights on Murakami including noting how important music is to Murakami both personally and in his writing. 

Roland also brought in Ted Goossen, professor and translator of Murakami’s works. Ted’s insights on translating Murakami and working within the mindset of a novel while translating it were fascinating. Eunbi Kim shared background about her creation and performance of Murakami Music, an original musical composition based on the music mentioned and featured in Murakami’s novels. 

All in all, it was a great evening of Murakami sharing and discussion. And “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” was praised as one of his finest works and well worth reading for fans as well as for readers new to Murakami.







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Celebrate the release of Haruki Murakami’s new novel with Monkey Business in NYC!


MONKEY is back!

Join editors Roland Kelts, author of “Japanamerica”, and Ted Goossen, one of Murakami’s translators, in New York City to celebrate the launch of Haruki’s Murakami latest novelColorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage! Joining Kelts and Goossen to discuss Murakami’s life, work and personal journey from Japan to the world will also be Eunbi Kim, composer of Murakami Music. This is one event you won’t want to miss!

Press Release:

"Haruki Murakami’s Pilgrimage"

To celebrate the release of Haruki Murakami’s latest novel, “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage,” join “Japanamerica” author & MONKEY editor Roland Kelts, who has known and interviewed Murakami for 15 years, Murakami translator & MONKEY founder Ted Goossen, and Murakami Music composer Eunbi Kim for an intimate encounter with the author’s life, work and personal journey from Japan to the world.

Event Details:

Tuesday, August 12, 6pm - 

Haruki Murakami’s Pilgrimage: Monkey Business Editors Celebrate the Release of Murakami’s new novel

Kinokuniya Books

1073 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY 10018




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For any inquiries, please email monkeybiz@apublicspace.org.

Monkey Business authors are coming to NY! 


To celebrate the the 4th issue launch, the magazine’s contributing authors Toh EnJoe, Hideo Furukawa, Laird Hunt, Matthew Sharpe, founding editors Motoyuki Shibata and Ted Goossen, contributing editor, Roland Kelts will be coming to New York and have discussion events in various locations. Please come meet us!

Saturday, May 3, 2pm-
PEN World Voices Festival
Monkey Business — Japan/America: Writer’s Dialogue
Dialogues between Hideo Furukawa and Laird Hunt, and between Toh EnJoe and Matthew Sharpe
Asia Society
725 Park Ave. New York, NY 10021
$10 Asia Society & PEN members, $12 Students & Seniors, $15 non-members (Ticket includes a copy of Monkey Business Issue 4.)
Tickets are available at worldvoices.pen.org

Sunday, May 4, 2pm-
Reading at Kinokuniya Bookstore
by EnJoe, Furukawa, Hunt, Roland Kelts, and Sharpe
Kinokuniya Bookstore
1073 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10018

Monday, May 5, 12:50pm-
What and How We Are Writing: Two Japanese Authors Talk About Their Work
EnJoe and Furukawa will discuss and read their work with Kelts as a commentator.
Baruch College VC 14-280 14th floor #280
One Bernard Baruch Way (55 Lexington Ave at 24th St) New York, NY 10010
*This is a special class open to the public. Please tell the security at the entrance that you are here for the event.

Monday, May 5, 7pm-
Readings at BookCourt
Readings by EnJoe, Furukawa, Hunt, and Sharpe, moderated by Kelts
163 Court St. Brooklyn, NY 11201


For any inquiries, please email to monkeybiz@apublicspace.org.

Editor Roland Kelts interviews Monkey contributor Haruki Murakami on American writers, readers & culture, and translating The Catcher in the Rye & The Great Gatsby— from our friends at A Public Space.

Preface to Volume 4 

For those of you who are not yet familiar with our Monkey Business project, please check out the preface to Volume 4 penned by our founding editors, Ted Goossen and Motoyuki Shibata.

The Monkey Speaks
In case you’ve never heard of us, we are an annual literary journal, focusing on Japanese writing today but soliciting contributions from American and British writers as well, while also squeezing in a number of Japanese modern classic pieces. We would say we are 60 percent contemporary Japan, 20 percent contemporary American and British, and 20 percent modern classic Japan, though some hybrids are hard to categorize, like manga renditions by today’s top Japanese artists of Kafka, Lafcadio Hearn, or Bruno Schulz. In our first four issues, including this one, we have published writers such as Hideo Furukawa, Hiromi Kawakami, Haruki Murakami, and Yoko Ogawa on the Japanese side, and Paul Auster, Stuart Dybek, Richard Powers, and Charles Simic on the American side.

Most of the selections in our past and present issues are taken from the Japanese version of Monkey Business, a quarterly Moto Sibata, one of the coeditors of this magazine, started in Tokyo in 2008 and discontinued in 2011. Moto Turned out, however, to be more stubborn than most people (including Moto himself) and thought and started a new quarterly in the fall of 2013, this time simply called Monkey. Some stories in this issue are taken from the very first issue of Monkey, so the kinship continues, although our range of sources has widened.

Shibata(left) and Goosen at BookCourt in Brooklyn, September 2013

Monkey 4 debuted in Tokyo

Monkey Business International Vol. 4 debuted last weekend in Japan at the Tokyo International Literary Festival.  The magazine’s founding editor, Motoyuki Shibata, and contributors Brian Evenson, David Peace and Tomoka Shibasaki gave readings and talks at several Tokyo venues.

Brian Evenson reading his latest short story, “The Punish,” from Monkey Business vol. 4.

Evenson and Motoyuki Shibata in conversation.

Shibata also gave a talk with editor John Freeman, formerly of British literary magazine, Granta.

Now, Monkey 4 is on its way to North America!

Monkey IV!
Take it to bed.

Monkey IV!

Take it to bed.

Coming Soon! Monkey Business vol. 4


We are thrilled to announce that Monkey Business International vol. 4 will be released at the end of this month — February, 2014. The issue opens with a new contributor, Craft Ebbing Co., a designer duo who tells the story of a mysterious box alongside color pictures of their exquisite craftsmanship. Richard Powers brainfully unpacks the most-talked-about living Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, and Kodansha Prize-winning translator Roger Pulvers unveils “The Restaurant of Many Orders,” one of the most popular stories by beloved Japanese giant, Kenji Miyazawa. Sci Fi wiz Toh Enjoe joins Monkey stalwarts Gen’ichiro Takashi, Hiromi Kawakami, Hideo Furukawa and Sachiko Kishimoto — plus debuts of new writers you must meet in our hungry pages.

The new issue will be available on this website and in selected bookstores in the US this spring, and popping through the spring soils in Japan at the upcoming Tokyo Literary Festival, Feb. 28-March 10.

Stay tuned for more!!

Richard Powers in NY

Last night, when the biggest snow storm of the season hit the east coast, Richard Powers made it to McNally Jackson Bookstore in downtown Manhattan and kickstarted the reading tour of his newly released book, ORFEO.

Despite the severe weather, the place was packed. Powers read from the book, then took questions from the audience about the story, his writing style, and life in Palo Alto, where he just moved last October.

Powers is known for not signing his books. Instead, he signs special Richard Powers stickers for personal use.

I got a sticker for his first book, Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance, translated by Motoyuki Shibata.

…and he posed with Monkey Business Issue 3 (!), which contains his short story, ” Lodestar.”

He is also writing a new essay on Haruki Murakami for Issue 4, due in a few weeks!!

MBI is looking for an intern

Help to launch Issue 4 of Monkey Business International, the English
edition of the acclaimed Japanese literary magazine, published in
partnership with A Public Space and the Nippon Foundation. Founder and
translator Motoyuki Shibata and translator Ted Goossen co-edit Monkey
Business International. The intern will assist them as well as
contributing editor Roland Kelts in launching the magazine in America,
including event planning, social media promotion, distribution, and
other projects. Requirements: The intern is expected to work 5-10 hours
a week (remotely for the most part, and occasionally from the offices of
A Public Space in Brooklyn). Please email a letter outlining your
experience and interest to anne@apublicspace.org