And so a fine time was had at the Japan Writers Conference.
Vikas Swarup read an extract from his new novel, The Accidental Apprentice, which will be published early-ish next year. He then took questions, and I was again compelled to marvel at the guy’s humour and erudition. The chat turned to VS Naipal, which elicited from Mr. Swarup a couple of marvellous put downs of Naipal. On Naipal’s representations of India in his work: ‘There are many kinds of Indian. Mr. Naipal is the kind that left India and moved to Trinidad.’ However, it is the nature of Mr Swarup’s discourse that the put downs sounded utterly good natured at the same time as being utterly emphatic. I am sure that had Mr Naipal been there, he would have beamed quite happily.
Actually, thinking of Mr Naipal’s reputation he would immediately have initiated an indefinite feud.
Later in the day I spent some diverting time chatting with Eric Johnston of The Japan Times and John Einarson of Kyoto Journal, and I mention that not as idle chitter, but because I want to plug their latest project: Fresh Currents.
Fresh Currents is a book, a collection of articles and essays (in English) about Japan’s energy future, an issue that has increased in urgency and relevance since the Fukushima disaster. The book is about Japan, but the concerns — nuclear power, renewables, fossil fuels, consumption — are global.
The book looks fantastic (design by John Einarson and Eldwen Laurenzi) and is a provoking read (edited by Eric Johnston).
This very evening, the Fresh Currents crew are having a party for the book at Tadg’s in Kyoto, and I would love to be there but for a cold that sneaked up on me today. Apologies to all for not mentioning the Tadg’s event sooner.
So there you go: Fresh Currents, Japan Writers and a jolly, literary time.
Weedy words of praise from a publisher in London"... it’s really witty and very strong ... I would compare the writing to Robert Rankin, or a really satirically biting Tom Sharpe, and will say again that I’m really impressed by it"
Review copies of Weed and Un-Tall TalesFor review copies of the novel Weed or the collection of short fiction Un-Tall Tales, send me a message through the contact page.