What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

by Haruki Murakami
Memoir
Vintage
Paperback, 192 pages
$14.95

So-called “March Madness” is perhaps, the year’s most intense and concentrated period of sports enthusiasm in the United States. It’s the Big Dance and the Brackets.  Everyone seems to do it. Even Obama does it on national TV. So, what’s the antithesis of the race to the Final Four in sports literature? Well, maybe Haruki Murakami is the answer. Unlike the collective mania of the NCAA tournament, running is the most solitary of sports activities. Murakami took up writing rather late in life and he didn't take up running until well into his middle age. Now he has run marathons, super-marathons and triathlons. He’s also written more than a dozen novels and volumes of short stories. This book is a meditation on running and also a nod to writing and growing old. The translation by Philip Gabriel preserves the spare, lean language and opaque tone of the Japanese. It makes you want to…well, think about… going for a long run.