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Bestseller samples Jura, jazz and a shot of whisky

THE best-selling Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, one of the leading names in world literature, has told a packed Edinburgh audience of his love for jazz and Scotch whisky.

Murakami, who was launching his new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said he would be visiting Jura after his appearance at the event to sample some of its drinking pleasures.

Murakami's new novel has sold more than one million copies within its first week of sale in Japan.

Murakami not only spoke about his writing - which he compared to entering a "dark and scary basement" - but his parallel career in translation and his enduring love of music.

In particular, Murakami loves jazz and used to run a jazz club, and is shortly to bring out a book about Thelonious Monk in Japan.

He said of the purpose of his visit to Jura: "I like whisky. That is the reason.

"I have been to Islay once and I like Bowmore and Laphroaig, they are very good."

The author also praised the quality of the edible seaweed to be found on Islay.

Murakami said he had loved running, one of his greatest pastimes, while being in Edinburgh which he said was a "beautiful city".

He said: "Running around is the ideal speed to see a city, walking is too slow and a car is too fast, running is the best speed.

"But there has been a lot of rain."

Murakami said he had never had 'writer's block'.

"If I don't want to write, I don't write. I do some ironing," he said.

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