Blog Archives

Review: Countdown to Pearl Harbour by Steve Twomey

This week’s review for the Japan Times is of Steve Twomey’s excellent new book, Countdown to Pearl Harbour: The Twelve Days to the Attack. It’s original both in the form it takes, focusing on the individuals involved and how their personalities and

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Review: Kunitake Kume’s Japan Rising

My latest piece in the Japan Times is on the abridged version of Kunitake Kume’s accounts of a diplomatic mission sent around the world by the Japanese government in 1871. It’s a fascinating read for all kinds of reasons, so check it

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Haiku, Mythology and a new Shoreline

This week I have two pieces in the Japan Times. One is a look back at haiku master Basho’s classic work The Narrow Road to the Deep North, the other is a review of the final part in Lian Hearn’s The Tale of

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The Long Defeat by Akiko Hashimoto and Not The Booker

My latest piece for the Japan Times is a review of Akiko Hashimoto’s brilliant sociological study of how defeat in World War 2 has manifested in contemporary Japanese society. Balanced and insightful, it goes behind the easy simplifications normally attributed

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Shusaku Endo, When I Whistle Review

I’ve been a bit quiet while I recover from launching The Waves Burn Bright and preparing for the Edinburgh International Book Festival (August 25th, 15.45 with Glenn Patterson, tickets still available). In the meantime I’ve been doing a lot of reviewing.

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The Company and The Shogun Review

It has been a horrible week but I’m going to avoid going on about the referendum, I’m too upset and too angry and it’s probably best for all concerned if I keep that to myself for the moment. In the meantime

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Lian Hearn, Autumn Princess, Dragon Child Review

  My latest piece for the Japan Times is live now, a review of the second part in Lian Hearn’s The Tale of Shikanoko, Autumn Princess, Dragon Child. If you like your historical fiction shot through with fantasy, then this is a

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The Translation of Love: Review

My latest piece for the Japan Times is a review of Lynne Kutsukake’s The Translation of Love, an excellent debut about life in Tokyo during the US Occupation. You can check it out here.

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West Dunbartonshire Booked Festival Appearance

I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be part of the 2016 West Dunbartonshire Booked Festival. I’ll be talking about my new novel, The Waves Burn Bright, at Clydebank Library on May 17th at 7.30pm. The event is free but ticketed. Full

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Kenzaburo Oe and Lian Hearn Reviews

This weekend I have two pieces in the Japan Times, one a look back at Kenzaburo Oe’s A Quiet Life, the other a review of Lian Hearn’s latest novel, Emperor of the Eight Islands.

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