Japanese author Murakami wins Jerusalem prize

So… this is how Haruki Murakami looks like. Have read only ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ but didn’t manage to finish the whole book. Find the story to be very bizarre & weird and the more I read the more confused I became.  Yet, I didn’t just stop there, and have signed up for a new ray ‘Norwegian Wood’ organised by a fellow bookcrosser, hoping I’ll enjoy this better.

The news here says he has won the 2009 Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society, Israel’s highest literary honour for foreign writers. Even what he said during the Award was profound, just like his book.

Here’s it:

JERUSALEM (AFP) – – Haruki Murakami, the acclaimed Japanese writer, has won the 2009 Jerusalem Prize, Israel’s highest literary honour for foreign writers.

The 60-year-old accepted the Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society from Israeli President Shimon Peres at the opening of the international book fair in the Holy City late on Sunday.

“When I was asked to accept this award I was warned from coming here because of the fighting in Gaza,” the Jerusalem Post quoted the writer as saying as he accepted the 10,000-dollar (about 7,800-euro) prize.

“I asked myself — is visiting Israel the proper thing to do? Will I be supporting one side.

“I gave is it some thought. And I decided to come. Like most novelists, I like to do exactly the opposite of what I’m told.

“Novelists can’t trust anything they haven’t seen with their own eyes or touched with heir own hands. So I chose to see. I chose to speak here rather than say nothing.

“If there is a hard, high wall and an egg that breaks against it, no matter how right the wall or how wrong the egg, I will stand on the side of the egg.

“Because each of us is an egg, a unique soul enclosed in a fragile egg. Each of us confronting a high wall. The high wall is the system.”

Murakami is the author of, among others, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood, and the Trilogy of the Rat, which includes Hear the Wind Sing, Pinball and A Wild Sheep Chase


My Discovery Land Experience

It’s our cell’s day of hosting in church, and what we do normally was greet and welcome people coming, usher them to their seats and distribute bulletins etc… it’s actually quite boring – standing there and just smile. This day was no difference, until about 10 minutes into worshipping, the pretty host leader approached me and asked whether I was ok with handling kids. Help is wanted in Discovery Land where children aged 4-12 discover God in creative and engaging way, and would I be able to help. I was ok with it, but still a little apprehensive and worried I may not know how to act in front of those inquisitive kids who always like to ask creative questions. I was briefed on what to do there, but wasn’t prepared for an impromptu skid I had to perform with another member. My mind went blank and the whole time was going through what to say. Only the 2 of us, but we managed to make the kids laugh from our little performance – we had to be rude to each other in the first scene, then the correct approach in 2nd scene. After, the Nursery teacher will teach them about Gentleness and Graciousness.

It was fun experience, singing along, clapping and jumping with them doing all kinds of actions. I had enjoyed every minute of it, even bringing them in and out of toilets. It was actually quite funny when after one of them had gone into the cubicle, I said I would wait outside. I was holding on to the closed door so that it won’t slide open, and the girl must have seen my hand on top the door, said, “Sister Sally, you don’t have to hold the door, because I have locked it inside.”