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Haruki Murakami Is Releasing a New Book

A picture taken on October 30, 2006 shows Japanese writer Haruki Murakami during a ceremony where he received the 2006 Franz Kafka Award in Prague. 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 on February 15, 2009. AFP PHOTO/MICHAL CIZEK (Photo credit should read MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

Famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood,The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84) will come out with a new book in December: a slender, 96-page work called The Strange Library. The book was originally published in Japanese back in 2008, but the English-language version will feature original, specially-designed text and illustrations.  The book tells the story of a young boy taken hostage in a library by an old man, who forces him to memorize a number of books with the intention of eating his brain to absorb the information. The boy then plots his escape with the help of a girl and a doughnut-making man dressed as a sheep. In a press release, Knopf chairman and EIC Sonny Mehta called the book "as scary and surprising as anything he has ever written."

Photo: MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images