Iain Maloney at Edinburgh Central Library
(THIS EVENT HAS NOW PASSED)
In 2016 Scottish writer Iain Maloney and his Japanese wife Minori moved to a village in rural Japan. This is the story of his attempt to fit in, be accepted and fulfil his duties as a member of the community, despite being the only foreigner in the village. Even after more than a decade living in Japan and learning the language, life in the countryside was a culture shock. Due to increasing numbers of young people moving to the cities in search of work, there are fewer rural residents under the retirement age – and they have two things in abundance: time and curiosity. Iain’s attempts at amateur farming, basic gardening and DIY are conducted under the watchful eye of his neighbours and wife. But curtain twitching is the least of his problems. The threat of potential missile strikes and earthquakes is nothing compared to the venomous snakes, terrifying centipedes and bees the size of small birds that stalk Iain’s garden. Told with self-deprecating humour, this memoir gives a fascinating insight into a side of Japan rarely seen and affirms the positive benefits of immigration for the individual and the community. It’s not always easy being the only gaijin in the village.
Iain is also the author of three novels – The Waves Burn Bright (Freight, 2016), Silma Hill (Freight, 2015) and First Time Solo (Freight, 2014) – and editor of In The Empty Places (2014), a collection of short stories and art. His first collection of poetry, Fractures, was published in 2016 by Tapsalteerie. In 2013 he was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize and in 2014 he was shortlisted for the Guardian Not The Booker prize. He is also a freelance editor and journalist. He is Reviews Editor of Shoreline of Infinity and writes for The Japan Times, Gutter, and The Bottle Imp.