Tale of a devoted Japanese piano tuner to Transworld

Tale of a devoted Japanese piano tuner to Transworld

Transworld has acquired a Japanese literary novel about a young piano-tuner’s devotion to his craft to be translated by Haruki Murakami’s translator, Philip Gabriel.

Editorial director Jane Lawson acquired world English language rights to A Forest of Wool and Steel by Natsu Miyashita (pictured) from Eiji Shimazaki at the Bureau des Copyrights Francais in Japan.

The book, Lawson's second Japanese title in six months, is published by a small Tokyo-based independent press, Bungeishunju Ltd, and won the Japan Bookseller’s Prize in April 2016. It was also shortlisted for the Naoki Prize, awarded biannually in Japan for popular fiction.

The "coming of age story" shares not only celebrated author Murakami's translator but the quality of being "totally immersive", according to Lawson.

"This coming-of-age story of a young man in a remote mountain village in Japan, who finds his calling in life after he hears his school piano being tuned, really struck a chord with me," she said. "It tells of the search for perfection through the beauty of sound and nature, and like Murakami’s novels, it has depth and ideas and is totally immersive. I’m thoroughly excited to be able to bring this ethereal novel to an English-language audience."

A Forest of Wool and Steel will be published in Doubleday hardback in late 2018. Helen Edwards, Transworld rights director, will handle US rights.