Harvill Secker is to publish an illustrated edition of Haruki Murakami’s The Strange Library, marking the first time the book has been published in English.
The Strange Library will be published in hardback as a Christmas gift book (£12.99).
It will have specially designed text and illustrations throughout, and has been translated into English from the Japanese by Ted Goossen.
The young narrator of The Strange Library heads to his local library on the way home from school to find out how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. Led to a special reading room in a maze under the library by an old man, he finds himself imprisoned with a sheep man who makes excellent doughnuts and a girl who can talk with her hands.
The boy becomes increasingly worried about getting home in time for dinner, and about escaping from the old man, who seems to have an appetite for eating small boys’ brains.
Liz Foley, publishing director at Harvill Secker, said: “We are very excited to be publishing a special illustrated edition of The Strange Library as an unusual gift book for Christmas. Murakami's imagination is unique and this is a wonderfully creepy tale that is sure to delight his fans.”
The Strange Library was published in Japan in 2008, and in Germany in August 2013.
Its publication follows the release of the author’s latest novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, in the UK this month, which was marked by midnight shop openings and a signing at the weekend at Waterstones Piccadilly.
Fans attending the weekend’s signing were given an early teaser for The Strange Library in the form of an old-fashioned library card featuring the publication date and #strangelibrary.