| I couldn't speak Japanese very well, passport regulations were changing, I felt British, and my future was in Britain. And it would also make me eligible for literary awards. But I still think I'm regarded as one of their own in Japan.
| Our family arrived in England in 1960. At that time I thought the war was ancient history. But if I think of 15 years ago from now, that's 1990, and that seems like yesterday to me.
| Memory is quite central for me. Part of it is that I like the actual texture of writing through memory.
| Now when I look back to the Guildford of that time, it seems far more exotic to me than Nagasaki.
| Screenplays I didn't really care about, journalism, travel books, getting my writer friends to write about their dreams or something. I just determined to write the books I had to write.
| All children have to be deceived if they are to grow up without trauma.
| There are things I am more interested in than the clone thing. How are they trying to find their place in the world and make sense of their lives? To what extent can they transcend their fate? As time starts to run out, what are the things that really matter?
| The world is crawling with authors touring now. They're like performance artists.
| I think I had actually served my apprenticeship as a writer of fiction by writing all those songs. I had already been through phases of autobiographical or experimental stuff.
| What is difficult is the promotion, balancing the public side of a writer's life with the writing. I think that's something a lot of writers are having to face. Writers have become much more public now.
| People were incredibly kind to our family and went out of their way to help.
| I do feel part of that generation of people who were rather idealistic in the '70s and became disillusioned in the '80s. Not just about social services issues, but the world.
| There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.
| I'm very fortunate in that I don't have money problems. I have lunch with my wife at home. I don't have to commute, so I have much more time with my family.
| As a writer, I'm more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened.
| When I got to 40 or so... I had the sense when I looked back over my life I would actually see a mess of decisions, a few of which I had thought about, some of which I had sort of stumbled on, and many that I had no control over whatsoever.
| I had been plunged into a different world. I found myself spending half my time answering weird questions on book tours in the Midwest. People would stand up and explain to me the situation in their office and ask me whether they should resign or not.
| When you become a parent, or a teacher, you turn into a manager of this whole system. You become the person controlling the bubble of innocence around a child, regulating it.
| The book was at a reasonably high position on the New York Times... before I was in the country. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see if my presence here would push it up or down.
| There's a practical problem about time and energy, and a more subtle problem of what it does to a writer's head, to continually analyze why they write, where it all comes from, where it's going to.