Hi folks, I’m into the third day of self-isolation (nothing wrong with me, just being on the safe side after hitting five countries and taking 14 flights in the last 7 weeks). I’ve caught up with Better Call Saul and Picard, and decided not to bother with The Witcher (though I might come back to it if this goes on more than two weeks). I’m reading Surfacing by Kathleen Jamie, Killing Commendatore by Murakami Haruki and Gutter 21, and I’m learning the solo to Cherub Rock. I keep telling myself that I’m going to get back to studying Japanese but haven’t yet.
Mainly I’m waiting for my copy of Irene Sabatini’s An Act of Defiance to arrive from Indigo Press. I have a history with this book, and first read it in manuscript form four years ago. It is, quite simply, breathtaking, and I am so so so glad that the rest of the world can enjoy its brilliance. Get ordering it from your local indie and dive into it while you have all this free time.
I wrote a piece on Murakami Haruki’s Underground for the Japan Times. It’s 25 years since the Tokyo sarin attack and 20 since the English translation of this book (two books technically) was published. Read about why it is key to understanding Murakami’s later period here.
If you’ve had a chance to read The Only Gaijin in the Village perhaps I could trouble you to head over to Goodreads or Amazon to leave a (5 star) review. These things really do matter and drive sales, so be a star, go on. Ah, go on. You will. You will. You will. You will. You will. You will.
I gave it a bloody good go but sadly the realities of Covid19 mean that the rest of my events have been cancelled and I’m at the airport hoping I can get back to Japan before borders close, flights stop or a fever starts. Thanks to everyone who came to St Andrews, Glasgow and Edinburgh and made those events so much fun. Apologies to Manchester and Aberdeen, but I’ll be back, hopefully in August. In the meantime, you can listen to my dulcet tones on the latest Scots Whay Hae podcast here while you self-isolate. Take care, wash your hands and don’t pick at it.
This is it, the big week. The book is officially out everywhere (US? No idea) and there are events in St Andrews (Tues), Edinburgh (Wed), Glasgow (Thurs), as well as a couple of podcast recordings (info as and when). So to celebrate, here’s a wee film I made with mate and director Stephen McQueen (Not that one, no, not that one either).
It’s the last day of February, the quarter day catch up, and that means I leave Japan tomorrow for the UK to launch The Only Gaijin in the Village. The dates are above and on the side bar. The Edinburgh Central Library event has sold out but there are still tickets for Glasgow on March 12th. The other events are unticketed.
After the fun I had launching the book in Australia I can’t wait to get stuck into it in Scotland where at least the chapter about venomous snakes won’t be met with (correct) condescending derision. Updates as I go, and photos on Twitter and Instagram, but I hope to see you all very soon!
They are out in the wild! Pre-orders are being delivered as we speak and Readings St Kilda has signed stock out on the shelves. I’m gearing up now for the Sydney launch in Better Read Than Dead bookstore on Sunday Feb 23rd at 3pm. It looks like there’s going to be a good crowd so please RSVP here to ensure a seat.