Haruki Murakami wins Spain’s Princess of Asturias Award for literature.

Janet Manley

May 24, 2023, 8:47am

Japan’s son and now the toast of an Infanta of Spain: Haruki Murakami has won the Princess of Asturias Award for literature, an award given by the Spanish royal foundation to significant works from anywhere in the world.

The panel said Murakami’s work—novels ranging from 1987’s Norwegian Wood to last year’s The City and Its Uncertain Walls—explored crucial modern themes, including “loneliness, existential uncertainty, dehumanization in big cities and terrorism.” Universal! Meryl Streep also got a nod.

The award was founded in 1980 by Felipe, Prince of Asturias—now Felipe VI, King of Spain—and was renamed the Princess of Asturias Award in 2015 for the new heiress presumptive to the Spanish throne, Leonor, Princess of Asturias, who began presiding over the award last year, having turned 18. When I was 18, my favorite book was a rip-off of Red Dawn.

If Murakami wants the sculpture and prize purse, he will have to attend the ceremony in Ovieda in October. Bob Dylan did not, being more of a Billboard guy.

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