A lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plot their escape from the nightmarish library of internationally acclaimed, best-selling Haruki Murakami’s wild imagination.

StrangeLibraryKnopf Doubleday Publishing Group will release “The Strange Library,” a new short novel (96 pages) by Murakami, on Dec. 2. It will feature full-color illustrations from Knopf’s associate art director, Chip Kidd.

The publication will come on the heels of Murakami’s 400-page novel “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage,” which came out in August with U.S. fans waiting in line to be the first to read it.

According to Sonny Mehta, Knopf’s chairman and editor-in-chief, “The Strange Library” is “as scary and surprising as anything he has ever written.

Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. His work has been translated into more than 50 languages. The most recent of his many international honors is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J. M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V. S. Naipaul.

Murakami’s other works include the novels “1Q84,” “After Dark,” “Kafka on the Shore,” “Sputnik Sweetheart,” “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles,” “South of the Border, West of the Sun,” “Dance Dance Dance,” “Norwegian Wood,” and “A Wild Sheep Chase”; the short story collections “Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman,” “After the Quake,” and “The Elephant Vanishes”; and the nonfiction books “Underground” and “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.”

He has also translated works by other authors into Japanese, including Truman Capote, Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Irving, Ursula K. Le Guin, J.D. Salinger and Paul Theroux.

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