Murakami writes short story for romantic novel collection

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami has written a short story to be included in an upcoming book collecting nine romantic novels that were written by contemporary American and European writers and were translated into Japanese by him.

The story "Koi suru Samsa" (Samsa in love) by the 64-year-old author begins with a scene where the main character wakes up on a bed to find himself transformed into Gregor Samsa, the protagonist of "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka.

Murakami writes that he had "a lot fun" writing the story while worrying about the reaction of serious Kafka admirers. The book is set to be published Tuesday by Chuokoron-Shinsha Inc.

Murakami writes in the afterword that he was fascinated by short stories by authors including Maile Meloy through the New Yorker magazine to which he subscribes.

Murakami said he first tried to collect stories that are "straightforward, honest, easy to read and relatively heartwarming," but said he had trouble finding such stories that were not yet translated into Japanese, so he included pieces with a wry and twisted nature.

Murakami wrote a story for the 2002 book "Birthday Stories" that consists of his own selection of birthday-themed novels that were also translated into Japanese by him.

September 07, 2013(Mainichi Japan)