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World-renowned Japanese author Haruki Murakami declined a nomination for a literature award.
Earlier this year, Murakami was short-listed for The New Academy Prize in Literature 2018. The accolade was created in lieu of the postponed Nobel Prize in Literature, a Swedish prize presented yearly. Nobel’s literature award was suspended this year due to the resignation of some committee members.
Although Murakami considers the nomination a huge honor, he politely refused it. The Japanese author said he prefers focusing on writing than being in the spotlight.
Murakami informed The New Academy, the organizer of the award, of his request to withdraw his nomination through an e-mail. In response, the organization respectfully accepted his decision.
The nominees of The New Academy Prize in Literature were decided via a public vote. Shortly after over 32,000 participants casted their votes, Murakami was named one of the four finalists for the award. But because Murakami rejected the nomination, only three candidates were left to vie for the title.
Murakami has always been considered a strong candidate for literary awards, including the Nobel Prize. Almost every year, his fans called Harukists would gather to watch the Nobel awarding ceremony. Much to the fans’ dismay, the award remained elusive for Murakami.
Nevertheless, winning an award is the least of Murakami’s concerns. In Murakami’s blog published a few years back, the author clarified that he is not after the Nobel Prize. In a different interview, Murakami said that he does not need prizes and that having readers is all that matters to him.