Blog Archives

Unboxing (my favourite sport)

After a few days of camping and hiking in northern Gifu, I returned to three boxes waiting patiently in my garage. Better than Christmas morning, you can see my reaction to clapping eyes for the first time on the amazing

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Cover and Quotes

This is my sixth book and the excitement never lessens. If anything it increases with each book as the anxiety about “what comes next” decreases with experience. Not that there’s no anxiety, just that it’s tempered with understanding. The cover

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Live(ish) at the BBC

It came around quicker than I thought, and here it is: me talking about Japanese literature on Radio 4’s Open Book. It’s also available as a podcast (under BBC Books and Authors). I haven’t listened to it yet because… well,

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Lakeland Lectures & the BBC

So Thursday night was a busy one for me. At 7pm I gave a lecture/reading about me/my work as part of Lakeland University Japan’s ongoing series. It’s a great scheme they’ve got going, bringing in people of all different walks

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New Book!

You may have seen a few social media posts regarding this, but here’s the full story about my new book! It’s called Life is Elsewhere/Burn Your Flags, and is a novella set during the pandemic in Japan. Here’s the official

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Live at the FCCJ

So this was a thing! On Wednesday last, as I type, I did an event at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club Japan. Hosted by Swiss journalist Christoph Neidhart, I did some readings from The Only Gaijin in the Village, and then

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Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will

It’s been a while since I last posted here, mainly because there’s been nothing to say. This area of Japan was in a state of emergency for a while (a state of emergency is like a lockdown but enforced by

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Black Voices Matter

Sorry for the radio silence in the last few weeks but a combination of being back teaching full-time, suffering Zoom-related back pain and the world going to hell less in a handcart and more in one of those massive modified

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Zooming On

Hi folks, I hope you’re all doing well and coping with the various stresses the plague times have brought us. Out here in the countryside life is much the same except they’ve closed the mountains, so that’s my main source

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Vote Remain (Indoors)

How are you all doing? It’s not great out there and, to be honest, after four weeks at home it’s not great in here either. Still, I’ve painted the kitchen and dining room. It’s amazing what boredom and procrastination will

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