When the boy enters the library, he does not yet suspect that his steps will take him into an eerie realm. Well, I’m looking for a book there, the boy said. A choleric old man takes him through a vast labyrinth of cellars into a pitch-black hole marked: READING ROOM.
Here in the captivity of exclusive darkness, the boy encounters his deepest fears. But not on bread and water: three times a day the most delicious meals are served by a gentle sheepman and a mute girl. The two bring not only oodles of donuts, but also comfort and love.
The wondrous story of loss and loneliness, of first love and liberation seems like the source from which the many great novels of the Japanese master Haruki Murakami are fed. In the magnificent translation by Ursula Graefe, the novella has now been adapted for the stage by Jacqueline Kornmüller and can again be seen as a world premiere at the Odeon from September 21, 2022.
The fantastic illustrations for the novella as seen above are from Kat Menschik – thank you so much Kat!