Friday, March 30, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Fantastic audiences on the West Coast. Roland Kelts will catch up and recount more--Tokyo, NYC, Boston, DC, Berkeley, SF--very soon. But for now:
Last night, Powell's Books in Portland, one of the best bookstores in the US, and as far as we know, and as far as we have seen, the world--and one of our best crowds so far. Packed house, excellent questions, kind compliments, genuine interest in the book and the future of the cultural interchange detailed therein. Not to mention an age range that ran from the teens to the 60s or beyond, plus RK's dear friend from Tokyo, Jun Kim, Haruki Murakami's brilliant and illustrious office manager.
We're writing to you from a condominium in Seattle at the behest of another dear friend, RK's sometimes editor and always heroic publisher, Bruce Rutledge. On deck tomorrow: a radio interview with Seattle NPR, a newspaper interview, and a presentation for the Japan America Society of Washington State.
For now: Here's Roland Kelts on a radio program that aired nationally on Tuesday of this week:
Japanese POP CULTURE on "The World," PRI/NPR
And a review RK penned of Matthew Sharpe's mind-blowingly brilliant new novel, Jamestown, for the Village Voice:
"Jackass for the Jacobean Set," The Village Voice
And here's his new monthly column for the Writer's House Newsletter in Tokyo:
And now, because he is 7 cities into his 9-city tour on precious little sleep, RK will retire. Besides which, RK/Roland Kelts is not his real name. As I'm sure you know by now: If he tells you his real name, you will die.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Two guns, 100 rounds of ammunication, a fake beard. Hence the helicopters hovering downtown last night, the city in a sense of seige. Four dead:
A former Marine. America trains them well. Stanley Kubrick, anyone?
I am still alive, though, so the obscenity of going on, going on, with the bottoms of my trousers rolled, goes on.
The temperature has slid, the icy rains precede predictions of 6 to 10 inches of snow. Just 24 hours ago I was celebrating T-shirts and sweaty socks.
Back on course: After preaching to the knowledgeable and converted at the brilliant and membership-only Nichibei Society in Manhattan and dining among the dogs at Fred's, Leo sadly had to fly back to Tokyo before the launch party at The Cutting Room.
Over 300 celebrated, including my lovely bicultural parents, and VIPs of varying stripes. Worth thanking here are Lee Guzofski, who planned the evening, Ajay and Amit Tandon, who paid for it, Steve Walter, manager of the venue, who cut us a deal, and the brilliant Gaijin A Go Go, the transcultural band who rocked and socked us into eternity for hours.
I signed a bunch of books for the very kindest of crowds.
Again, this is horribly backdated. Tonight I got to meet the Japanese translator of Japanamerica. His name is Iyasu Nagata. He seems brilliant and studied. He's also a bass player. With Nagata-san, I also got to see Matthew Sharpe read from Jamestown, a novel whose brilliance you'll soon hear about. Trust me.
Not dead yet,
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
It seems auspicious that I am commencing this blog on a March night in New York when the temperature is so high (70s Fahrenheit; 20-ish Centigrade) that I have been walking around town this evening in a T-shirt. I've also been wearing trousers, underwear, socks and my Cole Haans, of course, so I won't get arrested and/or stoned by passersby. But it's absurdly warm here, and everyone downtown (excepting me, likely) looks absolutely beautiful.
I'd intended to start this slog months ago. Like many things in my life, including me, it will be backdated. Sorry. Gomennasai.
I am now smack in the middle of what turned out to be a 9-city book tour in support of Japanamerica.
There are helicopters sweeping the city tonight, flashing broad spotlights onto the cavernous streets. I don't know if this is because another cleric has claimed responsibility for the carnage of 9.11, or because we are truly under siege. My windows are wide open. It's chaos out there.
A man with a long pony tail just advised me to "stay at home tonight." Apocalypse now, with kudos to Susan Napier.
My book is about the chaos and malleability of the world in which we live in the 21st Century. The first date on which I appeared to discuss it was late November, at the behest of the Nichibei Society in New York, whose members greeted both me and the indomitable Leo Lewis, Asia Correspondent for the Times of London, with great alacrity. Leo's work informs all of the economic analyses, business stats, et cetera, contained therein.